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Review: Gunslugs

Review: Gunslugs

Is there still room for simple platformers on the market?

Gunslugs is a retro arcade shooter. The player takes on the role of soldiers sent on various missions with a common goal. It is very simple – destroy a few towers and get to the extraction point. The story presented in the production is practically non-existent, which leaves a certain distaste, but is not a significant drawback, taking into account the mechanics presented by the Dutch.

The gameplay is pure arcade. The character chosen by the player moves in a 2D environment, destroying the elements of the environment and, of course, enemies. Many types of weapons, often original ones, are at the disposal of Vita users. Standard shotguns, rifles or flamethrowers can be used to pacify opponents, but the weapon also includes one that attacks chickens fired from the barrel.
The humor of the creators does not end with armaments. Additional areas – small buildings that can be entered – often contain intriguing characters. You can unlock another soldier that you can play as, but NPCs are much more interesting. These include, among others, a sorcerer dressed in gray and defending the passage (associations with “The Lord of the Rings” are perfectly justified), or a princess locked in a castle (an Italian plumber would certainly be relieved if he encountered this heroine).

However, these buildings are not only used to meet intriguing people. Additional areas are worth exploring because of the many possibilities and facilities they can provide. Apart from the obvious bonuses in the form of collectibles (additional ammunition – its amount is not unlimited, or first aid kits), rewards can be as attractive as a mini-game (for example, taking place on a painter’s canvas) or a special potion that slows down the game world. It is worth noting that the use of these benefits is not free – you must pay a certain number of earned coins for interacting with the object. If you cannot afford a certain expense at a given moment, the chance to use the service will be lost – entering the room allows you to get inside and outside once, and the slot machines sometimes located in a new area allow you to try to interact with them once. . At first it may be perceived as a minus of the title, but after reflection, you can understand the developers’ decision – it makes the game more dynamic; it does not encourage you to go back to an area you have already discovered.
Gunslugs is an arcade shooter, so the score indicator couldn’t be missing. You get them for defeated enemies and collected coins. So sometimes you should think about what is more important – points to the overall pool (and thus the place in the scoreboard), or the possibility of continuing the game after the death of the target character or a bulletproof vest costing 100 coins.

The sound in the newest child of the Abstraction Games studio is specific. If someone appreciates the music that accompanied the productions available on slot machines in arcades, they will also appreciate the music featured in the reviewed work. The sounds of gunshots, coins falling, explosions – all this makes you feel like you are in the above-mentioned place. However, the sound motifs quickly started to irritate me, which does not change the fact that the sound effects fit the production very well.

There is no rose without thorns, which also works well in this title. There is one but significant drawback in it; after using all “lives”, it is not possible to go back (of course with the zero point counter reset) to the mission during which you fell. Choose a character that starts in a certain area and continue playing from there.
To sum up, Gunslugs is a production that can be fun and fans of old school platformers should be satisfied. A worth mentioning plus is the Polish language version and optional objectives to be completed during the game.

Thank you to Abstraction Games for submitting the game for review