Toss, perch on, and leap from your magic staff in the demo for action platformer Akatori

A prologue-style demo for an upcoming action platformer has you wielding a magic staff and two-fisted kung fu to battle enemies and explore a metroidvania-style world of myth and magic. Akatori's big pitch si that your way of moving depends on a magic staff that can be thrown not just as a weapon, but to hover in midair as a pole to jump off of.

Developer Code Wakers calls Akatori a "blend of classic metroidvania and intense action platformer." In it you play as Mako, a teenager raised in a temple who must take her magic red bird staff into the land of the gods to solve a crisis.

Akatori's combat relies on a combination of strikes with Mako's martial arts skills and staff. Each attacks in its own way, and blending the two styles into a cohesive whole so that you're getting the most from your moves seems like an interesting pitch for a diverse system of combos and attacks.

We first saw Akatori back in 2021, when it debuted during a Guerilla Collective livestream. It drew PC Gamer writer Tyler Wilde's attention for its bright layers of flat colors in the style of a Neo Geo game.

"Without considering too deeply whether or not I actually feel like playing a new 2D platformer, I'm a fan of Akatori's look. The flat layers and color palette are what I associate with Neo Geo arcade games like Samurai Shodown and Metal Slug, which to me are the height of sprite-art (though obviously Akatori's not so pixely)," he said, and I can't help but agree with that potent association.

The Akatori: Chapter One demo takes about an hour if you're moving at top speed and is pretty enjoyable for an in-development snapshot of a game that's not yet out. I found the visuals pretty but the controls a bit finicky on occasion and unresponsive at others—especially when trying to get the most from leaping off the thrown staff—probably the kind of things the developers want player reaction to from this demo.

You can find Akatori: Chapter One for free right now on Steam, where you can also find Akatori. Akatori proper doesn't yet have a release date.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.