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Pepper Grinder Review

Overall - 80%

80%

Official Score

Pepper Grinder is anything but a grind, letting players drill through land, sea, and air with relative ease. While we would have loved to see more content - and more bosses in particular - this title proves that it’s the pirate’s life for us.

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With some pep to her step, Pepper and Grinder hit the scene in Ahr Ech and Devolver Digital’s new platformer Pepper Grinder. Should players cut through its world like a knife through butter, or is her drill a little rusty?

Yes, there will be puns.

Pepper Grinder Review


When the pirate pepper has her treasure stolen, she doesn’t go without a fight. With her trusty drill Grinder, she sets out to turn anything and everything that stands into her way into a nice purple haze.

Said Grinder drill manages to outclass Milwaukee and Makita at their own game. With it in hand, Pepper is able to drill through select substances with ease, gliding in and out like it was water. While the turning radius is a bit broad, this ends up leading to a general flow to levels where players pop in and out of sections with relative ease. Pepper Grinder’s controls are responsive, leading to a truly unique style of play.

On that note, this drilling mechanic comes into play with some creative setups. One section has players navigating a sky world where balloons can’t be popped, while another makes use of cooled off magma to turn into new drilling platforms. While Pepper Grinder’s worlds aren’t too out of the ordinary – you’ve seen most of these level tropes before – the way the drilling elements come into play changes the way one approaches its drill bits. 

Pepper’s drill is truly versatile (with the environments to match), but there are plenty of other tools of the trade for some good ol’ fun and games. Weaponry with unlimited ammo pops up at select points, requiring players to shift their way of thinking. In addition, there’s also vehicles like snowmobiles that pop up for some high-speed action – just the thing to break things up. If anything, levels are brisk with plenty of action and no chance to catch one’s breath; just the way we like it.

However, Pepper Grinder’s greatest strength is in its boss fights. While there are only a handful to speak of, the way they require players to utilize both the gameplay and the environment itself is a real treat. 

It’s just a shame that this title’s over before it even begins. While it took us a bit to get through the trickier sections, we rolled credits after a few hours. Players can also collect Skull Coins in each level (some of which are expertly hidden!), along with Time Trials, but we were hoping for something akin to a grading system.

Pepper Grinder is anything but a grind, letting players drill through land, sea, and air with relative ease. While we would have loved to see more content – and more bosses in particular – this title proves that it’s the pirate’s life for us.

Pepper Grinder Review

Reviewed On: PC
Release Date: March 28, 2024
MSRP: $14.99
Platforms: PC. Nintendo Switch
Developer: Ahr Ech
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Alternative Reviews: Cultured Vultures, ZTGD, Checkpoint Gaming
Aggregate Scores: Metacritic, OpenCritic

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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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