Even against the wealth of outlandish subject matter certain games have based themselves on over the years, bamboo is a pretty unusual central theme. In Bamboo EP, as weird as it may sound, the flowering perennial evergreen plant synonymous with panda diets is used for games of dodgeball, katana-style duelling, and relaxing swims.
Crafted by Dutch artistic group Sokpop Collective, it's also super-challenging and rather wonderful. Here's a glance at how it looks in practice:
Comprised of three different games, Bamboo Moon is in essence an interactive title screen which allows you to swim with frogs within a tranquil setting, and Bamboo Ball is a quirky 1v1 multiplayer dodgeball game that would possibly work better in two versus two but is nevertheless great fun. Bamboo Hearts, however, is where Bamboo EP shines—a katana duelling sidescroller that not only boasts a surprisingly deep and intuitive combat system, but also has multiple unlockable characters and procedurally spawning boss encounters.
Its sword fighting mechanics make for obvious comparisons with Nidhogg, however one Steam reviewer names NES classic The Legend of Kage as a point of reference that's absolutely on the money.