REVIEW: Belle Boomerang (Switch)

Released APR 15, 2023

MSRP: $7.99 Category: 2D NES-like Side Scrolling Action
Publisher: NarwhalnutDeveloper: Narwhalnut
Reviewed on: Nintendo SwitchAlso on: PC/Steam


A fast-action platformer packed with beautiful pixel art and exciting variation in every level!

The monarchs have been placed under a monstrous curse! Play as Belle with the aid of her legendary boomerang, and raise the curtain on this evil scheme. Leap through a world full of charming creatures and lively environments, inspired by the shining stars of the golden age!

No boomerang alone can save this kingdom… Toss cherries, inspirit statues, and soar through flame-filled skies!


Belle Boomerang is a 2D action side-scrolling platformer that harkens back to the days of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. As Belle you need to use your boomerang, and a variety of other powers, to defeat monsters, collect bells and make your way to the exit door in each level. Somewhere along the way you’re supposed to save the King and Queen of some land from some curse, but luckily (like in the days of the NES and unlike so many games these days that overbake meaningless narrative) the plot isn’t too important to the game.

The graphics in Belle “feel” at home on the NES back in the late 80s with a very interesting aesthetic where a limited color pallet is used but it still ends up looking really good. There is attention to detail in the characters and animations that I’m honestly not sure if the actual NES could have handled back in the day, and certainly not without screen flicker.

The audio in Belle also just “feels right” and certainly harkens back to the days of the NES in a way that feels very authentic, in a good way. The title screen music track, “Belle Boomerang” sounds like it could belong in a Mega Man game, which if you know Mega Man on the NES is high praise. And a few other tracks really stand out as well, while the others are totally competent and match the action perfectly. Really I can’t say enough good things about the audio, mostly because it feels totally right and that’s not an easy feat.

The gameplay in Belle also feels right at home on the 80s NES, which is a good thing, and is tight enough that deaths felt like they were totally my fault and not because of loose, floaty jumping or soft edges on platforms or anything like that. Belle’s default move is her boomerang throw, but she absorbs other powers as well that can either let her lift fruits and throw them, possess statues, and shoot bubbles that float upwards, among others.

You can watch some of my gameplay from Belle Boomerang below:

So what about the fun? If you can’t tell already, as an 80s kid who grew up with the NES, this game is a banger and brings back great memories of the best games on the NES. The graphics, audio and controls are just perfect and really add to the overall experience. While I’m not sure what a kid in 2023 would think of it, for its target audience the game hits perfectly.

Just a tip: make sure to at least start the game in retro difficulty. It isn’t brutally difficult, but you will still die from time to time, and if it were too easy that might take way some of the fun. If retro mode is too hard, however, there is a slightly easier mode that starts you with one more life heart and doesn’t knock back.


Belle Boomerang is a pleasant surprise in a landscape of me-too retro-ish games without enough attention to detail and polish, and delivers an authentic (and good) NES-ish experience that is fun to play and experience. Given the game’s value price and high value, I can’t recommend it enough to retro fans, and if you’re not a retro fan specifically, you should still give it a try.


  • Great pixel graphics totally at home on the original NES, but without NES flicker
  • Audio, both music and effects, are very well done and match the overall aesthetic. A few banger tunes.
  • Tight gameplay that means deaths are most likely your fault, and you need to git gud


  • Retro style may be a bit off putting to non retro gamers
  • More retro style games aren’t this good


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