Review: Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril – Throwing Back Hard

Older gamers that grew up with consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System or the SEGA Master System will remember the joy of playing 8-bit action games. Back in the day, franchises like Mega Man and Castlevania were as challenging as they were fun, throwing tons of obstacles at players and testing their skills in many ways. But for as classic as those games were, they did have their fair share of issues that people look back on with rose-tinted glasses. This is why Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril gets a lot of things right while stumbling in the same way many of the 8-bit classics did a long time ago. Some people will appreciate the authentic recreation of that era of gaming, while others may not enjoy it as much.

The most accurate comparison one can make about Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril is to the original Mega Man series. Not only does the main hero you play as move and attack the same, but the enemies and levels you explore feel like they could’ve existed in that era of gaming. For some players, this will be good because it’s like going back to what you knew. Unfortunately, this also works to the game’s disadvantage in both gameplay and overall presentation. The game has a story and arcade mode that allows you to play with or without cutscenes, catering to those who want the full experience or just want to get into the gameplay alone.

The cutscenes in the story mode give a unique flair to Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril, but like cutscenes from the early 90s, they are presented in a low-resolution form and drag on for way too long in some instances. Everything else related to the visuals will only resonate with those who appreciate 8-bit graphics presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio. You can’t change the display of the game outside of the border that is displayed on the sides of the screen.

But none of that will be as big of an issue compared to some of the hurdles that Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril forces players to deal with. Moving from room to room feels like Capcom’s original Mega Man series, with enemies placed around to stop you and jumping between platforms being a frequent obstacle. Boss fights appear from time to time, which will require you to learn patterns and attack when optimal.

It’s a formula that many who love this style of game will be familiar with, with little to no deviation from it. You can find power-ups hidden around that give new abilities like a double jump, floating, and other helpful tools to get around. But you’ll have to push through challenges that can often be frustrating through repetition. What adds to that are the checkpoint rooms spread out far from each other. You’ll have to run through the same areas multiple times if you keep losing all your health.

Another inconvenience is how the game uses a password system to continue progression rather than a save system. For the authentic retro experience, this might work out. But game design has progressed a ton in the years since then, so relying on a password system feels archaic and inconvenient. The rooms that you run to that give you passwords and replenish health could have been used as save rooms to save data. It feels like the foundation of such ideas is there, but a conscious decision was made to not use it. As nostalgic as that might be, it’s just not a great choice to make nowadays.

If you like going back to older games on retro hardware, but want something a little new to get into, Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril might be something for you to enjoy. But everyone else won’t find much to enjoy here. Even for a game that looks to pay homage to the classics of the early 90s, there are many things that just don’t work out great in comparison to other indie releases that do something similar.

Are you a fan of retro games from your favorite older consoles? Do you like checking out indie games and trying out new ideas for a gaming experience? Share your thoughts in the comment section down below!

Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril
  • 60%
    Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril - 60%


The game is a big homage to classic action platformers of the 8-bit era. But a number of archaic design choices make the experience harder to enjoy. Some of the challenges will be frustrating, even for people accustomed to playing similar games. While the presentation will work for fans of retro games, there’s not much else here to really get into. strives to be an apolitical, balanced and based pop culture news outlet. However, our contributors are entitled to their individual opinions. Author opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of our video hosts, other site contributors, site editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. This website contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. We disclaim products or services we have received for review purposes, as well as sponsored posts.

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Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugo is a writer and content creator that has been covering video games, movies, and various sides of entertainment for over a decade. He has published reviews and articles on many different outlets and continues to make content for different platforms. Jakejames also makes video content regularly for places like YouTube and TikTok, and share daily posts about gaming on social media.

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