Cybarian : The Time Traveling Warrior
Nintendo Switch

Developed By : Ritual Games
Published By : Ratalaika Games
Category : Platformer, Beat-em-Up, Arcade
Release Date : June 21, 2019

In today’s market, a lot of games that are floating around are throwbacks to things that have been around for years, especially games of the indie persuasion. More and more, we see newer development teams finding new ways to rehash their old favorites. Some of these games look like carbon copies of those they are paying homage to, while others find very…unique ways of reimagining things. Cybarian : The Time Traveling Warrior on the Nintendo Switch is a game that’s absolutely fitting of the latter category.

As the time traveling barbarian, you’ll play through four levels in different locations in this new, futuristic city. Initially, the only things you can do are jump and perform a three-hack attack with your sword. You’ll want to be extremely careful with this attack though, as it is meant to be methodical and rhythmic. Hit the attack button at precisely the right times and you can extend the combo to it’s maximum potential. Hit too fast and you’ll get dizzy and be vulnerable to an attack.

Enemies will naturally populate each level, and will come in many different variants. You’ll have sword-wielders that will try and charge you, gun-wielders sending bullets and bombs your way, even autonomous mines and lasers tracking your every move. But, everything can be defeated and for the most part must be, however some things can be avoided all together. I say that for the most part you have to defeat things because like some old school games, you will be unable to progress off the current screen until all enemies on it are dealt with.

At the end of each level you’ll have a boss to deal with, and they will be equal parts a blessing and a test. A test because they obviously won’t be a walk in the park. There will be attack patterns to memorize and avoid until you are given your opportune moments to attack. They will be a blessing because they’ll serve as a respawn checkpoint.

To begin each level, your character will have five hearts of health. Each time you are hit you’ll lose one heart.  Lose all your hearts and you’ll be forced to restart at the beginning of the current level. That is, unless you reach the boss like I mentioned above. Enemies you kill will drop some coins, and you can find boxes to destroy through the levels that provide them as well. Your only source of replenishing health, though, is through vending machines that will cost 40 coins for just one measley heart. Life is precious, so cherish what you have.

I think this is something that I have said for similar games, and will probably say a lot more going forward, but games like Cybarian were never my cup of tea when I was younger. Lately, though, they have become a source of enjoyment, and this game is no exception. The graphics and bit-tunes were quite enjoyable, but my favorite feature by far was the timed-combo. It’s not something you’re expecting so it took me a bit to realize why I was being left wide open for attacks. There may not be a ton of levels, but it’s certainly an enjoyable experience. And with the addition of variable difficulty levels you can always ramp up the challenge for yourself (or tone it down).


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