PAX East 2019: My Friend Pedro is an aerobic ballet dance murder simulator, and I dig it

My Friend Pedro preview PAX East 2019

Ever since I heard about My Friend Pedro, I have not known what to make of it. A banana telling you to murder goons? Dancing mixed with gun violence? It’s an unbelievable combination that just might be crazy enough to work. Based on my experience playing the game at PAX East 2019, I believe My Friend Pedro is destined for greatness.

What is happening?!

My Friend Pedro preview PAX East 2019
Rolling as well as Samus over here!

PAX East 2019 had a demo for My Friend Pedro that consisted of the first level. Incredibly, your character is awoken from slumber by a sentient banana named Pedro. Pedro teaches you the basics of movement, which consists of turning around, wall jumping, rolling, etc. Once you make it to the next area, you must eliminate henchmen with your dual pistols. This gunplay is a little wonky at first until your potassium buddy teaches you some helpful tricks.

Teach me your inner secrets, oh yellow fruit

After Pedro, who may or may not be real, transports you into a magical practice realm, you get to the real nitty-gritty of the game. Your avatar learns how to slow down time, shoot in two different directions at once, and spin dance to dodge incoming fire. Once you hone your skills, you get to use them in the actual stage. Before long, I was diving, rotating, and shooting multiple bad guys in the face and legs.

Some stuff needs ironing out

My Friend Pedro is not without its faults. The protagonist will always face forward when you are moving back and forth with the left stick. The player needs to use the right stick to turn around. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but then you realize the right stick also aims. While it is not a terribly difficult thing to get used to, it will take time for the average gamer to wrap their head around.

In addition, aiming seemed a little hard to pull off in the demo. Maybe I’m just terrible, but I had difficulty lining up some of my shots. This led to more mangled bad guy legs instead of headshots. Oh well, at least they deserved it. I think.

My Friend Pedro is in a class of its own

Regardless of my gripes, there is no other title quite like My Friend Pedro. Every time I pulled off something fancy, I entered a state of zen. When you learn how to utilize your limited slow motion time correctly and execute some ballet dodges, all while shooting two baddies in the face simultaneously, it’s poetry in motion. After all, players need to be graceful with their kills in order to achieve a great score. Of course, since this was my first time with Pedro, I got a C. Do not judge me.

Gamers will be able to download My Friend Pedro on Switch in early June 2019. Between this and Katana Zero, publisher Devolver Digital is showing it has a knack for partnering with great indie developers. Let us know if you agree with that statement with a comment below!

Arthur Damian
Arthur Damian is a writer, editor, educator, and lover of video games. Based and living in Brooklyn, NY, he has been gaming since the age of five, from the NES to the Nintendo Switch. His favorite system is the SNES, his favorite game is Chrono Trigger, and you cannot convince him otherwise. He loves dogs, rainbow cookies, Spider-Man, and songs with intricate drum patterns. Arthur is also the Editor-in-Chief at That VideoGame Blog.