BLUD Becky Weapon
Screenshot by Siliconera

Review: #BLUD Feels Like a Fun Saturday Morning Adventure

#BLUD is a Saturday morning cartoon of a game. It’s what happens if you shove EarthBound, a 2D The Legend of Zelda, Stranger Things, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer into a blender and serve it with some late 1990s Cartoon Network visuals.

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You play as Becky Brewster, a girl who has moved to Carpentersville and now must navigate the difficulties of school, including making new friends. Oh, and also the social media company who set up a new office in town is summoning vampire hordes, which Becky must train to fight back against. You achieve this by collecting spells, gathering new tools such an umbrella shield and a grappling hook, and fighting off lesser vampire that wander the town at night.

Gameplay is straightforward. It’s a top-down adventure game, similar to classic Zelda, but set in a modern American town. Most of the game is spent exploring, solving puzzles and fighting against enemies that range from rats to buff vampires. Occasionally you’ll have to solve a dungeon, usually in the form of the school basement or an abandoned building, but the process uses most of the same mechanics as the standard exploration.

Screenshot by Siliconera

#BLUD doesn’t do anything that exceptional here. It’s all built around rudimentary action-adventure mechanics, but it does handle them quite well. Navigating the town of Carpentersville is a joy, as the areas are compact and filled with obvious landmarks, while a gradually unlocked fast travel system does speed things up in the late game.

Puzzles within this world are straightforward, but still tricky enough. Some challenges require you to melt ice blocks, others might ask you to search for items in a specific location, while a relatively early puzzle demands you remember your school lessons about the solar system. There are also some crystal puzzles throughout the world that reward your diligent exploration and observation with more health. These were especially exciting as the solutions were never obvious, making them feel extra rewarding to solve.

Combat also acts as kind of a puzzle. While basic enemies are simple enough to whack with Becky’s hockey stick, others require more specific strategies. Some enemies need to be tired out from their combos, others need to be blocked to knock them off balance, and one enemy type requires you to physically dig it out of the ground. The different enemy varieties keep fights interesting, as you learn to juggle the ideal methods of dispatching your foes in each battle.

Screenshot by Siliconera

Where #BLUD really shines, however, is in its aesthetics. If you’ve seen any major Western animation in the last couple of decades, you’ll see something familiar here. It mainly reminds me of the likes of Powerpuff Girls or Cow and Chicken, with highly expressive yet angular character designs. They lean into this aesthetic at every opportunity, with not just character sprites but also character portraits for speech boxes being constantly in motion. My favorite element of this Saturday morning vibe is the chapter title cards, which are stylised in a way that makes each chapter feel like the next episode of a show.

The story follows the aesthetics. The writing style is goofy, constantly playing with conventions of both video game tropes but also the horror genre as a whole. Dialogue is consistently playful, and some of the story beats are absurd (one chapter focuses on chasing a demon goat, for instance). Comedy is often a hard thing to get right in games, but #BLUD manages to nail its tone and remain genuinely funny throughout. It’s also surprisingly sincere at times, with one portion of the game featuring Becky wishing she could just be normal and not a vampire-hunting badass. The writing team must be commended for how good it is.

The story also loves its social media satire, hence the hashtag in the title. Your quest list is built into a Twitter-style social network named Perch. Becky’s friends will post updates, usually as hints towards your objectives, but it adds a lot of fun banter with the cast. Perch is also the primary villain of the game, as their Steve Jobs lookalike CEO has a deep desire to summon demons in order to build the ultimate metaverse. It’s not the most subtle critique of modern tech companies and mostly exists as a flimsy justification to throw silly vampires at you, but it is fun. It also openly acknowledges that the company’s profit motives are vague and questionable, but runs with the concept anyway.

Screenshot by Siliconera

The reliance on the cartoony presentation does harm #BLUD at times though. As the game progresses, the visual style can often get in the way of clear gameplay cues. For instance, some attack telegraphing can be hard to spot as animations can sometimes be hard to distinguish between an attack animation or just general expressiveness. The deliberately lowered frame rates can lead to you being caught off guard often, as attack timings can sometimes feel unintuitive. Some boss fights made this especially obvious, as large-scale attacks often fill the screen with little warning. There was also one especially terrible encounter involving a school bus, where the comical swerving of the bus added unpleasant lag to the controls.

The collision detection of enemy attacks gets noticeably more awkward as you progress, as the dodge roll proves ineffective in many situations. In addition, the lack of invincibility frames after getting hit would lead to me sometimes getting trapped in a dangerous spot, locking me into taking excessive damage. Not to mention enemies that would spawn, without warning, directly onto where I was standing, giving them a free hit.

Screenshot by Siliconera

Design issues start seeping in through later sections too. Some puzzle sequences are simply not fun, as they involve constantly spawning enemies that can knock your progress back while you move a block slowly across an awkward space. There’s also a late game forced stealth sequence which was easy to mess up and would require you to entirely restart it with each failure.

However, many of these flaws can be overlooked simply because of how charming the game is. #BLUD has a fun story, genuine laughs and a brilliant cartoony aesthetic. While it does have some rough edges, this is a fun little adventure that’s worth looking into if you think you’d click with its tone. I still think it could have had a better title though.

#BLUD releases for PCs on June 18, 2024.


Save your friends, fight off the vampire apocalypse, and survive the horrors of freshman field hockey practice in #BLUD, a delightfully zany animated dungeon crawler that blurs the line between action RPGs and hyperkinetic 90s cartoons. PC version reviewed.

While #BLUD does have some rough edges, this is a fun little adventure that’s worth looking into if you think you’d click with its tone.

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Leigh Price
Leigh is a staff writer and content creator from the UK. He has been playing games since falling in love with Tomb Raider on the PS1, and now plays a bit of everything, from AAA blockbusters to indie weirdness. He has also written for Game Rant and Geeky Brummie. He can also be found making YouTube video essays as Bob the Pet Ferret, discussing such topics as why Final Fantasy X-2’s story is better than people like to think.