On their lonesome, pixel perfect jumps are a nightmare, but when paired with pausing and unpausing a bullet to get an extra jump mid-air, it's an entirely new experience with an added level of difficulty. Charge Kid is as tough as the nails you fall on, but it's fair. It has the polish and style of similar entries into the genre and all the difficulty you'd expect from a platformer that flaunts its challenge. It's not just a treat for fans of this type of game but rather a must.

Good

Dying causes an explosion of ghosts to sprawl out of your corpse, and then you are flushed right back to the last checkpoint; bullets leave a trail of red pixel-y effects; the very ground you walk or stand on fizzles with white particles: the details put into every aspect of Charge Kid makes it feel like a truly refined and cared for experience which extends to the tight-knit level design and intricate puzzles. There's a lot of thought put into each aspect of Charge Kid, and it bleeds through in spades. Perhaps the most noteworthy point that truly shows this is in the depth of something as simple as a bullet. You can freeze it mid-air and even boost to its spot which makes for some interesting puzzles as there are points that need to be shot or touched in order to transform your character.

The character will, when these are activated, turn a crimson red, and this means that they can double jump. Some of the levels require you to triple jump in the air, so you have to pause a bullet by the trigger and time your double jump and release perfectly in order to get that third jump while also having enough time to leap and reach the next platform. Failing that, you may plunge too far down and not be able to reach or completely stumble into the spikes altogether. What this makes for is some interesting timing-based challenges that certainly adds a lot of value and uniqueness to Charge Kid. It doesn't feel like a generic rehash of Super Meatboy cashing in on the crazy-difficulty of over-the-top platformers with squishy style, but rather it has its own gimmick that completely overhauls the experience, making it stand out.

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Bad

However, the downfall to Charge Kid is in its backdrops. They are, no doubt, beautiful in their own right, nailing that industrial feeling with pipes stretched out across the far back with the metallic boxes and railings making up the foreground you traverse. However, it's all very drab and grey. It certainly fits that industrial theme, but it's a little boring to look at. That being said, it may not entirely be the developer's fault, as they're seemingly pulled assets from itch.io, using the '16x16 Industrial Tileset' from 0x72, otherwise known as Robert.

While not their fault, it's hard to tell how much of the finer tuning in animation and design can be credited to Pineapple Works as opposed to 0x72 who put out their work for free use - it's even one of the first search results when looking up 'industrial platformers.' All the same, the gameplay is stellar.

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Final Score: 73%

The visuals and polish are great, if not a little drab and mundane, but the core aspect that really sells Charge Kid is its gameplay, which is the tough, unrelenting, platformer experience. It's a lot of fun, if not a little tedious at times, and certainly one to try out if you're a fan of the genre. If you're not? It's still worth giving a spin, because who knows, it might be your gateway drug into the less friendly side of the jump-heavy sidescroller side of gaming.

Thank you for checking out our Charge Kid Switch review, thank you to Pineapple Works for the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: