Review: Pepper Grinder

Posted on March 28, 2024 by Tyler Nienburg

Listen to this Article:



Pepper Grinder is a great platformer with smooth gameplay and a nostalgic, pixelated art style. It’s a fantastic game to play and has the potential to go down as one of the best indie games of this year. If you’re searching for a new platformer to play, this is the one.

Developer – Ahr Ech

Publisher – Devolver Digital

Platforms –  PC (Reviewed), Nintendo Switch

Review copy given by Publisher

Pepper Grinder is a brand new 2D Platformer action-adventure video game from indie developer, Ahr Ech bringing a new twist to the platformer genre. In a world where powerful mainland nations are locked in a drawn-out war, the islands, coves, and waterways surrounding their countries are now swarming with treasure-seeking brigands and buccaneers. The age of piracy has returned!

Pepper has lost her treasure and it’s your goal to recover her stolen treasure by tackling a series of fast-paced, varied, and challenging levels. Said levels include platforming, combat, puzzles, or a combination of all three.

pepper grinder intro

Stepping into Pepper Grinder for the first time you’ll be introduced to a tutorial level that teaches you the basics of the game such as drilling, jumping, and doing a dash jump that gives you an extra boost in between the sand lots that your drill through with your power tool named Grinder. As soon as you press play, you’ll be immediately immersed in the action of this game.

Just like most platformers Pepper Grinder has multiple worlds you carve your path through. To unlock the next level in the world you are in you’ll have to complete and raise the flag of the one you’re on. During each level, there are also Skull Coins to collect that are hidden in rocks that you have to carve through or there are on obvious platforms of the levels.

It doesn’t take long for the gameplay to start picking up and becoming fast-paced with obstacles to drill through. Some moments will have you take a step back and rethink how to approach a certain part of a level and luckily if you lose all your lives you’ll spawn at the last checkpoint instead of completely restarting. I would definitely say this game is definitely for experienced players who enjoy platformers, but if you are looking to challenge yourself I’d say go for it. Think of the gameplay as a Dolphin swimming in and out of the water because that’s basically what it is.

pepper grinder

Let’s talk about the Curiosity Shop in Pepper Grinder. This shop sells Gold Keys which cost 10 Skull Coins and unlock a bonus level in the world you are in and every world has one of these shops. You can also purchase stickers with the coins you earn through levels. One of the other important items to buy are Armor Gems which is purchased by using coins as well and essentially gives you more health which is nice to have if you are struggling with a boss. The shops were a neat addition to the game and it brings me back to games like Alien Hominid Invasion and Castle Crashers.

I’ve never found the level design to be dull, as each one has its own distinct style of gameplay, especially as you progress further in the game. I think the fact that each region is relatively small, with only four levels total in each and three of them being the main ones, is what makes it so perfect. The developers didn’t try to do too much, and it shows. What’s also a nice touch is the setting of each world where you go from the simple washed-up on-the-beach type of setting then you go through this dreary and dark world that you honestly want to just get out of and then you’ll be drilling through a winter wonderland.

pepper grinder

As expected, every part of the island is protected by a boss. Initially, I didn’t encounter many difficulties in figuring out how to defeat them, but as I progressed further into the game, it became more challenging. The key is to understand the boss’s pattern and anticipate their next move as you approach the end of the battle. I thought the boss battles were very well designed providing a nice surprise each time you encounter a new one.

Pepper Grinder’s art style will make you feel nostalgic with its SNES look and developer Ahr Ech made this game feel modern which is hard to do when creating platformers these days. There isn’t one 2D Platformer that I can compare this game to because it’s that different to me. The game feels too short and it leaves us wanting more. I expected more with the music in this game, but it let me down a little bit.

Share Everywhere!

Tyler ‘Tyboy’ Nienburg released Rectify Gaming back on December 17th, 2013.Feel free to contact the head of Rectify at