I’ve been eagerly anticipating Pepper Grinder since I saw a series of tweets with GIFs several years ago. It’s a pixel platformer in which the protagonist, Pepper, has a drill which she uses to plow through scenery, and a grappling hook for all the moments when she’s not underground. It’s now been officially announced with Devolver as publisher and there’s a reveal trailer below.
It’s quite satisfying to watch a game go from “oh, that GIF features a neat mechanic” to “oh, it’s a proper game now with levels and giants and several enemy types and weapons and other game bits.” Still, the best thing in the trailer above remains the thing that was best in the GIFs: drilling through solid ground, bursting out, grappling to a corner and swinging around to the next piece of drillable ground. There’s a wonderful momentum to it.
Pepper Grinder stars Pepper, “a seafaring soul with a passion for prospecting, and Grinder, her super-powered drilling device.” You are shipwrecked and robbed and set out to gather your trasure back up. It is faintly similar to Drill Dozer, an old GameBoy platformer about a lady with a drill, but only faintly.
In any case, it’s now one of the game’s I’m most looking forward to. Pepper Grinder is the work of illustrator Ahr Ech and a small group of collaborators, and is aiming for release in 2023. You’ll find more screenshots on Steam.