PAX East 2019: Bloodroots – First Impressions

Is it fair to say the first impression of this game is “kill everyone and everything”? Because it is. And yet… that’s not a bad thing. Bloodroots is the newest project from Canadian developer Paper Cult Games, set in the wild west where anything can be used as a weapon. Anything. Literally anything. Jackie Chan style. The idea is to hack, slash, slice, and spin your way through a dangerous world. Need a ranged weapon? Toss a carrot! Don’t have a knife? No problem, grab a plank of wood and get to it!

But here’s the thing, you might want to set a timer or some kind of reminder to take a break, because the common factor from everyone playing Bloodroots was that well, nobody could stop playing. It’s that good.

To give you a touchpoint for comparison, there are a lot of similarities to Hotline Miami—and that’s intentional, because it was one of the influences for Bloodroots’ flow and gameplay. The action is fast and intense, you’re dead in one hit, and you need to determine the best path through a level that will allow you to kill every single enemy in the area before progressing to the next stage.

It becomes necessary to use strategy as you figure out what objects and items will do this because, frankly, you’ll never make it if you just try to smack everything upside the head with a hammer. One area in this particular demo required players to use the carts and barrels in the area to fly off a ledge, avoiding spikes, and rolling dramatically in order to advance. We won’t give it all away, but needless to say, you’ll probably die more than once figuring it out.

What ends up happening—at least in the demo—is a fascinating balance between obscene violence and brilliant puzzling. Each item can also only be used a certain amount of times before it breaks, which means that as you’re strategizing on how to get through the level, you’re also keeping an eye on which weapons you’ll need at what time.

According to Paper Cult, Jackie Chan’s film stunts really were a heavy influence on how the game was designed, but the team is also big fans of Westerns and cartoons like Samurai Jack. They mushed these all together and created a game set in the “weird West”, with a cartoonish aesthetic, silly gameplay concepts, and clever puzzling.

Based on our experience and what we observed from folks playing at the booth, Bloodroots is positioned to become one the best action titles this year. It’s fast-paced, visually impressive, and entertaining—and the amount of variety in terms of weapons and problems to solve keeps things interesting. Here’s hoping the rest of the game delivers in the same way.

Bloodroots releases sometime later this year.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Digg
Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

Leave A Response