KAMUI Review

KAMUI is an arcade shoot-’em-up (shmup) from the late 90’s. Thanks to Nyu Media, it’s seen release in English and on Steam.


I’m not typically a shmup player at all. I’ve dabbled in some on Steam that I got through Humble Bundles but none ever really stuck… And I typically died really fast. Well, that last part is at least still true in KAMUI!

You’ll progress through a series of levels as you make your way to the final boss. If you’re a newcomer to shmups you will be glad to hear that this game has unlimited lives. I’m pretty sure that’s about the only thing that allowed me to make it to the end. Yeah, my dodging skills are… pretty lackluster to say the least. Looking for a challenge though? If you want to try for the achievements in this game, you’ll have to get pretty good to do so.

Throughout your progress in each level there will be enemies on two main layers – the one you’re on and the one below you. While your regular shots can hit the ones on your level, you’ll need to use your lightning attack to hit the ones on ss_e4172632bde34b15e6dcfe23ee522142002352a9the lower layer. This has a limited charge, though it does recover (fairly quickly) over time.  I often found myself using it to hit enemies on my layer as well, just because it would hit more things that I needed to kill faster.

You also have a charge beam among your arsenal. This also requires energy to use and is very useful for trying to get a boss dead, or even sometimes just a tougher enemy. This one will more gradually drain your energy (though, by gradually I mean it will only last a few seconds) compared to lightning taking it all instantly. It’s definitely nice for trying to get that last burst in on an enemy!

The default controls are… interesting. Well, at least the pause button on controller. While it is definitely easier to access than start on an Xbox 360 controller, I don’t typically think of Y as how to pause a game. The keyboard controls are also a bit interesting, though I haven’t played with them for nearly as much time.

When you beat the game you finally get a total story dump, with nothing other than the intro movie (which is easily skippable) before that. I spotted some typos in the ending, though they were pretty minor and were mainly just some grammatical errors.

If you’re looking for a pretty decent, and somewhat forgiving with unlimited lives and continues, then check out KAMUI. While you can definitely tell the game is from the late 90’s, it’s still fun to sit down with an play in short bursts – each playthrough will likely only take around 30 minutes. I enjoyed my time playing it, even if the controls did get slightly confusing at times. Well… mainly the pause button location on my controller.

KAMUI Review Score


There was some small translation errors in the ending story bits. Also, why is pause on Y? That still confuses me…

I would like thank Nyu Media for providing me with a copy of the game for review.

KAMUI is available for purchase now on Steam.

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