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Studio Pixel's Kero Blaster, and its soundtrack, out now

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Studio Pixel's Cave Story was a pillar of the formative indie scene - and now a follow-up of sorts has emerged in the form of his sidescrolling platform shooter Kero Blaster (opens in new tab) , which releases today. It's a momentous, nostalgic and slightly melancholy occasion - how much has changed in the world of independently created games in just six or seven years. I can't say if Kero Blaster is any good or not yet - its free prologue Pink Hour (opens in new tab) was too brief and too difficult to really get to grips with - but a recent trailer (opens in new tab) hit all the right notes, so I'm hopeful that the old Pixel magic is there.

After Cave Story, and the many games inspired by it, you might be expecting another interlocking, sprawling Metroidvania, but with Kero Blaster billing itself as a "classically-styled 2D side scrolling action game packed with adventure", I'm expecting a more guided, action-heavy experience from this one. There appears to be a huge focus on collecting, and upgrading, crazy weapons, before its froggy hero uses them to blast adorably evil enemies to smithereens.

Kero Blaster can be had for $7.99 (opens in new tab) , or in a bundle with its soundtrack for two dollars more. The following video offers a preview of all the smooth and catchy chiptune noises we can expect to hear in the game.

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.