Pepper Grinder is a fabulous pixel platformer about drilling and grappling

I’ve been looking forward to Pepper Grinder since I saw a series of tweets with GIFs several years ago. It’s a pixel platformer where the protagonist, Pepper, has a drill she uses to navigate the landscape and a grappling hook for all the times she’s not underground. It’s now been officially announced with Devolver as the publisher and there’s a reveal trailer below.

It’s quite satisfying to see a game go from “oh, that GIF has a neat mechanic” to “oh, it’s a real game now with levels and giants and multiple types of enemies and weapons and other game elements”. Still, the best thing about the trailer above is still what was best about GIFs: drilling through solid ground, bursting, grabbing a corner, and swinging around until you reach the next piece of drillable ground. There is a wonderful momentum.

Pepper Grinder features Pepper, “a seafaring soul with a passion for prospecting, and Grinder, his super powerful drilling rig”. You are shipwrecked and robbed and you are about to retrieve your treasure. It slightly resembles Drill Dozer, an old GameBoy platformer about a woman with a drill, but only slightly.

Either way, it’s now one of the games I’m most looking forward to. Pepper Grinder is the work of illustrator Ah Ech and a small group of collaborators, and is aiming for a 2023 release. More screenshots can be found on Steam.