Developer Manufacture 43 calls Pawarumi a “modern shoot ’em up in a retro-futuristic sci-fi pre-Columbian universe”. Play as Axo, piloting the mighty ship Chukaru to take on the Council’s armies. You will need to master Chukaru’s powerful weapon systems to accomplish your mission.
Choose Your Weapon
Pawarumi is similar to most shmups, you play as a highly agile protagonist dodging and weaving your way through torrents of enemy fire all while doing your best to dispatch as many of them as possible on your way to the boss at the end of each level. Where this game sets itself apart from the rest is its weapon combo system, The Trinity Mechanic. Your ship is outfitted with three different weapon systems:
Red Jaguar Missiles
Blue Condor Laser
Green Serpent Gatling
Green, Red and Blue enemies will come at you in waves, firing at them will yield different results depending on which “color” of weapon you use.
Boost – Charge your ship’s shields by shooting enemies with a weapon of similar color.
Crush – Deal double damage by shooting Red enemies with Green Serpent, Blue with Red Jaguar and Green with Blue Condor.
Drain – Charge your Super Attack by shooting Blue enemies with Green Serpent, Red with Blue Condor and Green with Red Jaguar.
Super – Combine all 3 weapon types to unleash a massive barrage of fire which will destroy nearly everything on the screen
Welcome to Bullet Hell
Pawarumi is incredibly difficult; the campaign mode gives you one life and no checkpoints to save your progress. Each run will require focus and precision movements, you’ll need quick thumbs to master the art of switching between weapon types to hit the mobs with the right weapon to obtain your desired effect. There are 3 difficulties available to you, Easy, Normal and Hard. Easy will give you access to four of the game’s five levels, less firepower directed at you and the ability to practice your weapon skills. Normal mode adds the extra level and is a huge jump in difficulty (at least for me). It takes things from a leisurely stroll in the park to a half marathon. Hard mode ramps up normal’s difficulty even further and is far beyond my capabilities.
Although the story is meager at best and it is fairly short, Pawarumi is a great game. The visuals and sound design are fantastic. It will punish you over and over, pushing you to keep going and get a little further than the last time. The boss battles do a great job of putting your weapon choice skills to the test. After each failed run you will see the words, “Try Again, You Can Do It!”. With practice, you can. If you are a fan of shmups and bullet hell games, you will feel right at home. The Trinity Mechanic adds a layer of variability in how you can dispatch the oncoming horde of enemies.
Pawarumi is available now on Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch and is well worth the $14.99 US price tag.