Review Fix Exclusive: Inside ‘Warriors of Ari’

Review Fix chats with “Warriors of Ari” creator Justin Kauer, who lets us know all about his game “Warriors of Ari.” Detailing the game’s creation, as well as his heartwarming story of perseverance and passion, Kauer gives the skinny on what makes him and the game special.

Review Fix: How was this game born?

Justin Kauer: When I was young, I always took things apart just to see how it worked. I was always curious about how a game was made. In middle school, I found out about programming languages. I learned several through my high school years, but I never decided which language was the best to use. I finally decided to just start on something small; to make a simple platformer game.

After watching several cat videos on the internet, I decided I wanted to make a game about cats with ninja-like moves. I chose Snakes as the antagonists because snakes are cats’ natural enemy.

Review Fix: What makes this game special?

Kauer: This game has a unique story; a nation called the Clowder Alliance is at war with the Ophidian Empire, a society known as the Ancient Warriors volunteer the fight. These heroic felines use their skills in the ancient art to protect their homelands from the evil Ophidian Empire.

This game also brings players back to playing retro games like Super Mario and Sonic when they were younger.
Review Fix: What games from the past have influenced it?

Kauer: I grew up playing the Sega and Nintendo Consoles. I really enjoyed playing fighting and platformer games such as Kirby’s Adventure, Super Mario World, Super Street Fighter 2, Legend of Zelda, and Super Smash Bros.

Review Fix: What inspired the art?

Kauer: The retro games I used to play inspired the art, but other indie games like Undertale, Shovel Knight, Terraria, and Harvest Moon also inspired me to make games with the retro pixel style of art.

Review Fix: What did you learn during the development process?

Kauer: I’ve made a ton of mistakes during the development process, and I learned from all of them. I’m constantly learning during the development process of the game.

I have also learned from other game developers about the best applications and services to use for developing games, and the best sites to visit to promote my work.

What I mostly learned is patience; while I have been working on this game, I have also been struggling with an aggressive brain tumor. It keeps growing back. While going through two surgeries, I have pushed and pushed myself to get my first project complete, but stumbled upon this quote by Shigeru Miyamoto.

“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” – Shigeru Miyamoto

At that point I decided to be more patient. I decided not to rush things- that made me less creative and less productive on my work.

Review Fix: Any fun stories?

Kauer: Two of the protagonists; Kitty and Smokey, are named after two cats I used to have. Kitty got her name because we couldn’t think up of one, and she always responded when the family would say “Kitty.” In Warriors of Ari, Kitty is really sensitive about her name because other cats poke fun at it.

Review Fix: Bottom line- Why must someone play it?

Kauer: Some people who have already played Warriors of Ari said that it brings them back to their childhood. The game is built to look like the retro games that were built in the 80s and 90s, but with using modern colors and better quality music and sound effects.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Kauer: If people continue enjoying my games, I will continue to create more games. I have ideas of mobile games, and console games. I might also make a prequel / sequel(s) of the Warriors of Ari franchise.

Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?

Kauer: I hope everyone enjoys the game. I’m working very hard. Working as a game developer is a great experience! I used to be very quiet, and would never talk to people, but with this first project of mine, I got to meet a lot of people. I’ve talked to several YouTubers, game streamers, podcasters, bloggers, and other game developers that have the same passion for video games as I do.

I have had problems with an aggressive brain tumor for nearly eight years. I’ve had two brain surgeries, radiation treatment, and currently going through chemotherapy. Going through these hardships, I am not giving up on my passion for game development! Maybe someday I will even make a special charity game, and the money I make from it will go to a charity.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 7726 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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