Pepper Grinder Key Art

Pepper Grinder Demo Preview: Drilling into Action

Action 2D platformers are a dime-a-dozen, and having your title stand out amongst the rest would require an incredibly unique gameplay innovation or just a drill. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on an upcoming Devolver Digital Steam Next Fest demo of Pepper Grinder, and it’s more exhilarating and enjoyable than we initially anticipated.

Pepper Grinder is a high-octane pirate adventure featuring the main protagonist, Pepper, and her resilient drilling companion, Grinder. After a shipwreck leaves her treasure in the clutches of the mischievous Narlings, Pepper falls into a chasm while hot on their tails. Luckily, this descent is how she obtains her trusty, powerful sidearm and embarks on a journey to reclaim her fortune.

Pepper Grinder In-game Screenshot
In-game screenshot

In the 20-minute demo, the narrative is only briefly touched on when the game begins and takes a backseat after the first level. The storyline will likely be fleshed out better in the final version of the game, but it’s clear that Pepper Grinder places a heavy emphasis on its gameplay.

‘Pepper Grinder promises a riveting combination of action, strategy, and chaos.”

With the trusty Grinder by your side, players must navigate diverse terrain, control machinery, and defeat enemies hindering Pepper’s quest for her stolen treasure. The main mechanic in Pepper Grinder is to use your Grinder, or drill, as a weapon and dig through different terrain to navigate through the level, collecting treasures and large coins along the way.

The Pepper Grinder demo showcased three unique levels, each delivering unprecedented chaos, especially as controlling a grinder is as wild as one would expect. Thankfully, the controls are easy to grasp, and it wasn’t long before I was engrossed by the speed and flow of each platforming segment. While the puzzles presented were not overly challenging in these initial levels, my anticipation is high for what lies ahead in the full game. It’s important to note that there is also an in-game shop where coins can be exchanged for stickers, with the final version promising the option to enhance Pepper’s abilities and unlock additional paths.

Pepper Grinder In-game Screenshot
In-game screenshot

Pepper Grinder promises a riveting combination of action, strategy, and chaos, and if the demo is anything to go by, it looks certain to be a must-play indie game for 2024. The demo is available at Steam Next Fest. You can check out the Pepper Grinder Steam page here.

Disclosure: Game Crater was provided the game for this preview.


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