4.5 out of 5


  • Fast-paced action
  • ‘90s inspiration
  • Soundtrack


  • Shop prices feel too high
  • Element power controls tricky at first

Switch, PC
BerserkBoy Games
BerserkBoy Games
Action, Adventure, Arcade, Platform
File Size (Minimum)
Release Date (NA)
Mar 6, 2024
Purchase From

Filed Under

Berserk Boy is an indie, retro-inspired 2D action platformer that deserves attention and praise. It takes inspiration from games from the 1990s and mixes in a rockin’ soundtrack.

Go Berserk!

Berserk Boy - Screenshot

The game takes place in a distant future where a mad scientist, Dr. Genos, looks to enslave the people through the force of his army, the Dark Energy, and by utilizing the power from mysterious Berserk Orbs. Kei, a young hero rookie, runs into a talking bird named Fiore who then aids him on his adventures. After meeting the evil scientist for the first time, Kei absorbs the electric-element Berserk Orb before Dr. Genos can take it. Thus begins the story of Kei’s adventures to retrieve all the Berserk Orbs before Dr. Genos takes them all for his evil deeds.

While the story isn’t going to be nominated for an Oscar, it covers the basic storyline about the characters, the mysterious powers, and the challenges between good vs. evil. There is also some voice acting in the game, but it does not cover the entire script. For example, you’ll hear Kei say “Uh, my head…” but not the rest of the sentence, “and of course, I landed in the middle of nowhere”. Ideally, having full voice overs would be great, but it doesn’t detract from the gameplay.

The Power of Elements

Berserk Boy - Screenshot

Kei’s powers consist of elements such as lightning, fire, earth, air, and ice. You can swap between each power with a press of a button and use your directional button or thumbstick to choose a power. The ease of switching powers during gameplay is smooth—and should be with all the switching you’ll have to do. For example, you’ll need to get through barriers using your electric powers, but soon after, you’ll need your fire power to perform a fire spin to move the platform your character is on across the stage.

The more elements you gather, the more swapping you’ll do. It would be more helpful if you could swap powers by selecting a trigger button as an additional option, similar to the Mega Man X video game. Each power also gives Kei a different attire. For example, the electric power gives Kei purple hair and a purple outfit, while the ice power makes Kei look like a shinobi (aka ninja).

The game begins with players using the electric power, and that turns out to be the most comfortable of the elemental powers to use. Performing combos at a fast pace feels smooth and fun as if you were playing as Sonic the Hedgehog. Other powers have their benefits as explained earlier, but the first one feels the most fun.

The controls feel smooth when performing regular and heavy attacks. However, some elemental power attacks may be tricky for some players to learn. For example, maneuvering through the dirt with the fire element’s drill feels off at first when turning. That said, if you overthink the controls, you’ll die constantly as the control inputs are actually straightforward. Once you get over that part, you’ll enjoy the Berserk Orb powers.

Players have three gauges: Health, Energy and Berserk Energy. Your elemental powers use a percentage of your Energy gauge. However, the gauge automatically fills over time and fills faster if you collect blue energy orbs that are scattered across the level. The Berserk Energy lets you unleash a powerful attack but does not refill. Instead, you’ll need to collect yellow Berserk Orbs and defeat enemies to replenish its gauge. Each Berserk Orb power has a different attack style and can cause some splendid damage to give you the upper hand in battles.

Blue energy orbs also count as the game’s currency. You can purchase enhancements to each elemental power-up such as additional attacks, double dash, etc. Additionally, you can purchase energy and health expansions that increase the length of your gauges. Unfortunately, the prices in the game’s shop feel too steep, so expect to revisit levels many times to pay for some of those upgrades.

Welcome to the New ‘90s

Berserk Boy - Screenshot

Berserk Boy, being a 16-bit adventure game, feels like it came out for the Super Nintendo but thirty years later. While playing through a few levels, it felt like a spin-off of the popular Mega Man X series blended with the fast-paced action of Sonic the Hedgehog and the recognizable attack poses of popular anime series, Dragon Ball Z. It’s the ‘90s all over again. For example, after performing a combo on an enemy and landing a last attack with your electric powers, Kei poses in a way that looks similar to Dragon Ball Z’s Vegeta. The animation sprites are very detailed and also give that Dragon Ball Z vibe.

Levels feel like a mix of Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog games. You’ll make your way through vibrant and visually appealing levels that closely resemble Mega Man 7 and Mega Man X. Those are not the only titles from which this game takes inspiration. Like Donkey Kong Country’s barrel shooting, there are a few areas where you’ll have Kei jump into a floating box to shoot him off across the level and into another box to perform another launch. . Also, headquarters, where the main characters reside, is located in Sector 7 and pays homage to Final Fantasy VII’s Sector 7.

Those who’ve played Sonic the Hedgehog should also recognize some similarities. The game’s soundtrack was composed by Tee Lopes who also worked on Sonic Mania’s soundtrack. These scores add more power to the game and give off that fast-paced, 16-bit nostalgia. Each level feels energetic and gives off positive tunes, and boss fights feel more intense. It’s a great set of scores and is worth listening to outside the game.

The Final Orb

Berserk Boy is highly recommended for those who are looking for a fun, fast-paced 2D platformer. From the gameplay to the soundtrack, it’s a well-balanced and energetic title. GO BERSERK!

A Nintendo Switch code provided for this review and gameplay footage.

Berserk Boy - Gameplay Footage (Switch)

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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