Pepper Grinder

There’s something endlessly satisfying about being able to dig in video games, whether that’s sifting through the sand in the desert of Super Mario Bros. 2, or delving into the randomly generated dungeons of Shovel Knight Dig, or just moving dirt around in Minecraft. I just don’t think I will ever tire of dig mechanics.

So I have to say, I’m pretty dang excited for Pepper Grinder, a pixel-art platformer starring a swashbuckling girl named Pepper who navigates the world with a handheld drill. This comes from indie developer Ahr Ech, who I’ve actually not heard of before today. It is, of course, being published by the zany folks at Devolver Digital (who I very much have heard of).

Apparently, this game first broke ground at the Indie Games Festival back in 2019, but it seems to have gone dark for a few years. Today, that long silence is broken, as Devolver officially announced that Pepper Grinder is coming to Nintendo Switch and PC in 2023.

Today’s press release describes the game like this:

Shipwrecked and robbed of her treasure by nefarious Narlings, Pepper – a seafaring soul with a passion for prospecting – must spin up her trusty sidearm to reclaim what the mischievous minions stole. Armed with Grinder, Pepper burrows through terrain & water, controls machines and pulverizes all enemies blocking the way to recovering her missing fortune – with interest.

And if you’re itching to drill into a features list, the press release included one of those as well.

  • Gritty Gameplay – Cruise through a colorfully animated world with precise movements, fluid drilling and thrilling leaps.
  • Thrilling Drilling – Chew through the world with Grinder and find new drill bits to ramp up the chaos and solve clever puzzles.
  • Conquer & Collect – Pick up jewels and other riches during your adventure and cash them in at shops to power up Pepper, open up new paths on the world map and snag collectible stickers for your sticker book.

I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on this one. In the meantime, you can check out the action-packed trailer for Pepper Grinder below.

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