#BLUD

Posted:  Jun 18, 2024
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
SDHQ CONTENT SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star

Review

#BLUD was provided by Humble Games for review. Thank you!

I remember seeing #BLUD for the first time at Day of the Devs earlier this year, and I was quite taken with it. If I had to pinpoint the one spot where the game really got me, it was the artwork and animation. Everything was so defined and expressive, and I loved everything I was seeing. It led me to immediately try requesting the game to review, and now that I have played it, I can say there's a lot to love about this game, even with some inconveniences here and there.

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Since I already mentioned the artwork, I want to start there. #BLUD is gorgeous. Every piece of the world feels extremely stylized and unique, making me want to explore more to see the full town. Then we have the animations, which are extremely expressive and so wonderful. Every character, object, weapon swing, and enemy are all expertly crafted and a joy to watch. My favorites are either when characters are talking, or you are taking selfies, and you can see each character's poses or facial expressions, which wonderfully sets the tone.

It reminds me of the 90s cartoon shows I would watch on Cartoon Network. I used to love spending early mornings on weekends just binge-watching my favorite shows (I'm a huge fan of Adventure Time here). Everything is so well animated and expressive. It makes me a bit sad for the more realistic AAA titles. Seeing how the characters are animated in those is minimal compared to games like #BLUD, and I prefer the latter over bigger AAA games.

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On top of that, the music and soundtrack is phenomenal. Running around and fighting to the beats just pumped me up and made me want to turn my sound up and blast it as loud as possible.

The story of #BLUD is also quite interesting. You play as 14-year-old Becky Brewster, who finds a grimoire from her mother and now must become a vampire hunter to save her friends and town from the oncoming onslaught of vampires. It's an intriguing premise with well-written characters, a unique social media system to figure out where you need to go next for story missions or side quests, and a cool way of interacting with other characters via taking selfies for social media.

There are spots around the world where you can take selfies, and other kids from your school will comment. It's intriguing to see the personalities of the other students coming out through the way they comment on posts/photos. It makes the world feel more modern and alive and is one of my favorite features of the game.

I also like that each chapter in the game is split off by what looks like cartoon episode title cards. It continues to add to the 90's cartoon aesthetic, and I love it.

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#BLUD does have a combat system, which you will use to attack and destroy the vampires and gigantic bugs that attack you. You will run around the town freely and have to dodge, block, and whack vampires with your hockey stick. The animations for the combat are extremely enjoyable to watch, but I did have some reservations about the combat. Without the hockey stick and umbrella for blocking, which both come later in the game, it can feel a bit frustrating to fight. I also disliked that the dodge roll that you have doesn't give you any immunity while dodging. I got hit multiple times while dodging, so it felt kind of useless.

There are puzzles in the game too, which also felt a little awkward. There were some puzzles that I just didn't get and it took me a bit too long to figure them out, which could have been partly due to some of the unexplained gameplay systems. It can be a bit confusing at times, which can be a bummer, but I still found it fun to figure things out myself and see all those animations (they are just amazing).

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Other than that, the game is flawless on the Steam Deck.

#BLUD - Steam Deck Performance

Without a doubt, #BLUD is perfect for the Steam Deck. Not only does it run at a perfectly smooth 90 FPS, but it drains underneath 9W at all times. It is most likely due to the art style that isn't demanding in the slightest, but it's still wonderful to see how well the game is running without changing a thing!

Accessibility

There aren't a ton of settings to change in the game. You can change language, audio sliders, and adjust controls, but that's about it.

The game doesn't support 16:10 resolutions, but it does have controller and cloud saves support. There are no HDR settings.

Conclusion

#BLUD is a gorgeous example of what incredible artwork and animation can do for a game. It truly feels like playing through a 90s cartoon, and that is a huge complement. The world and story are both wonderfully realized, with a great social media system to flesh out the other kids you will encounter and a fascinating premise. The combat and puzzles can feel a little iffy at times, and the dodge roll definitely needs some immunity frames, but it is still enjoyable due to the gorgeous animations.

And with how well it runs on the Steam Deck, it truly does feel like the perfect fit for portable play. Thankfully, even with some of the issues, I highly recommend this one on the Steam Deck.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

#BLUD is a gorgeously animated game that feels like you're playing through a 90s cartoon, and it's amazing on the Steam Deck.

Content

Gameplay: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Graphics: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Story: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Sound: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Fun Factor: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

2
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68
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Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$24.99
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