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Shellie - ShelliePancake

9 June 2023

Klaus Lee Thunderballs

Klaus Lee Thunderballs is the Baddest Badass around. He almost became a cop in Beverly Hills but then applied to be a private investigator in Hawaii and got bored waiting to find out if he got it. So now, he is a Spelunkin Pro! Developers NUKKLEAR and Publishers Assemble Entertainment have come together and brought a fantastic throwback to the '80s and 90's era of 2D Platformers.

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Klaus Lee Thunderballs is a simple game. You make your way through the levels, rescuing trapped Miners at the end of the level. The game starts gently, beginning with a simple level explaining how to use your jetpack to zoom through and up the caverns and how to shoot your laser eyes to disperse the enemies in your path. You're gradually introduced to more mechanics as you progress, and there are 100 levels to progress through. Collect the dynamite to blow up certain walls in your way, press buttons to open doors, or shift large blocks that might be blocking your path. The enemies also gradually become more difficult. Initially, you might only have bats to deal with, but in later levels, the bats might spit green fireballs at you, adding an elevated element to the game's progression. The gameplay is simple. Use your jetpack to scoot around the level whilst avoiding enemies, traps, and spikes, and use your laser eyes to remove enemies in your path. Some walls may require you to laser through and break them - others will require dynamite you can find throughout the map to break them to progress. You also have to manage your gas meter - run out and KABOOM to Klaus! You will eventually find gas cans in the later levels to help out.

The controls are simple, too, to match the gameplay. WASD to move around the level, left mouse click to shoot your laser and right mouse click to drop dynamite. It keeps the game snappy and simple, as you will often die and restart. Keeping the simple controls allows you to focus on the level and less on fumbling through different keys to get to your goal.

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The graphics are perfect for the style of the game. It hits that retro 80's vibe, from the pixel writing throughout the game and the little 8-bit image of Klaus on the level select screen, it instantly puts you back in time to sit on the floor in the lounge at Mum and Dad's, sipping on a glass of milk and taking turns with your mates to get through the levels. The game level's design is simple and clean, and it feels like progression as you start in simple caverns, working your way through snowy caves and into some futuristic, laser-filled maze.

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The music complements it well, harking back to the video games from the 80s. The main menu has a heroic, upbeat tone, and the levels don't stop that vibe either. The iconic synth that was in every 80s video game screams from the start all the way through, and it never gets old. The echoes of traps in the caverns give it that feeling of depth, and the flames from the jet pack roar perfectly.

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Klaus Lee Thunderballs is a great little throwback with modernized graphics and simple controls to scratch that platforming itch. While challenging, it never felt overbearingly frustrating, and instead, I could see myself progressing just that little more with each attempt.

Fly, don't walk, and get your copy now.

9
10

The Bad

- Simple controls that wont confuse you
- Clean graphics with complimentary music
- Challenging without wanting to tear your hair out

- If you don't have the patience to attempt a level multiple times, this might get rough

The Good

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