Tiny Barbarian DX (Review) Nintendo Switch

Tiny Barbarian DX (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

Tiny Barbarian DX by developer StarQuail is a nod to classic games such as Taito’s Rastan, Sega’s Golden Axe and Capcom’s Super Ghouls ‘n Ghost. The game’s massive levels (which span four chapters), feel like they were pulled from an 8-bit NES game from back in the day. Gamers old enough to remember gaming on Nintendo’s old, 8-bit console will also recall how difficult most of those games were. Tiny Barbarian DX is no different.

Despite its difficulty, Tiny Barbarian’s gameplay is simple, but difficult to master. Each level gets progressively more difficult, as the player jumps wide chasms, ride floating platforms and avoids deadly traps. Some levels are less conventional in their execution, and they require some skill (and patience) to complete. For example: one level has the player climbing and jumping between giant chains suspended in the air, while a floor of deadly spikes line the floor below. Adding to the intensity are groups of enemies perched high above the chains, throwing projectiles at the player. This immediately brings back memories of Konami’s Castlevania for the NES, where Simon Belmont had to climb staircases and avoid being struck by projectile throwing skeletons.

As mentioned earlier, the game has four chapters that are divided into several areas. Some of these levels end with a boss encounter, while others do not. However, each chapter ends with a large boss encounter, which the player must defeat before moving on. After clearing an area (or a chapter), the player’s progress is shown on a map that closely resembles Capcom’s Super Ghouls ‘N Ghost. Tiny Barbarian DX is full of nostalgic nods like these.

Combat is simple, incredibly fun, and easy to understand. Unlike some games, Tiny Barbarian DX includes the option to either use the D-pad or Left Analog stick to move. Fighting is done by simply pushing the D-pad (or Left Analog stick) in the desired direction, and then rapidly tapping Y button. If the player presses down on the D-pad, while also pressing Y button at the same time – the little barbarian will start flexing his muscles. Repeating this process will cycle through a couple of animations. This is guaranteed to raise a few smiles.


While fighting, the player must always monitor their health, which appears as five red boxes at the top-left corner of the screen. Health items (which resemble cooked chicken) are scarce, and they do not appear often. However, the developer took care of this issue by adding breakable blocks in some of the levels. Similar to the classic Castlevania, the player can destroy these blocks and find food. These blocks don’t always contain health power ups, though. It’s up to the player to find these ‘blocks’ and then remember where they are for future play-throughs.

As a game, Tiny Barbarian DX exceeds expectations as far as gameplay and replay value are concerned. When the single-player campaign is finished, there is an option to play with a friend via co-op mode; a feature that doesn’t show up often in video games. Thanks to developer StarQuail, Switch gamers everywhere have another game that’s worth adding to their collection. This is a great time to be a gamer.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: StarQuail
Publisher: Nicalis
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
Price: $29.99

Tiny Barbarian DX Official Website:

Review Score
Beautiful 8-bit graphics and silky smooth animation.
Arcade quality sound effects and a memorable soundtrack round out the experience.
Tiny Barbarian’s gameplay is simple, but difficult to master.
Tiny Barbarian DX exceeds expectations as far as gameplay and replay value are concerned.
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