By Chris Picone, 28 May 2023
Batboy's a gorgeous new retro platformer with all the usual platformer tropes and a cool sports theme (baseball, predominantly).
Bat Boy nails the retro aesthetic, with gorgeous 8 bit pixel art (although polished in a way that only modern pixel art can be), limited palettes, detailed sprites and backgrounds. Each level has a different theme, ensuring all the platformer tropes (ice level, lava level, jungle level, water level) have been addressed. And the music and sound effects match, of course. It's all high quality, they've done a great job.
Starts by playing like any other platformer; run, jump from platform to platform, bashing enemies, dodging traps, and hunting for secrets. You aren't jumping on enemy heads or punching them though, you're hitting them with a baseball bat - and the coolest thing about this game is that you can also hit just about everything else in the game with it. You can use your bat to bash through rocks, hit enemy projectiles back at them, trigger switches, and even bounce. This mechanic is what makes Bat Boy distinct from similar platformers. The controls are super slick too, so it's a real pleasure to play. The enemies are usually pretty easy to beat; the levels are more focused on creating environmental threats - spikes, slippery ice, lava, pit falls, lots of traps. It does get tougher as you progress but you can pick up gems as you go, which can be used to buy seeds, which you eventually convert into health or stamina upgrades. At the end of each level is a boss fight, much trickier than the other enemies and featuring a diverse range of attack patterns, making for some genuinely interesting (and challenging) battles. I'm not sure how many levels there are - guessing around 10 - but they're a reasonable size and the devs have used the special abilities as a way of locking secrets away (Metroidvania-style), giving you a reason to go back and replay levels.
Thoroughly enjoyable and I'm looking forward to digging back into some of the earlier levels to try and grab more collectibles. If you're a fan of retro platformers, buy this one. It looks great, plays great, has an excellent sense of humour, heaps of secrets to find, and some sweet boss battles.