Guntastic Review

A noble effort in the arena of 2D brawlers, Guntastic is fun and campy in the best kind of way. With characters both odd and colorful, the game sets itself up to be an eclectic and fast-paced 2D action brawler, offering a unique experience to veteran and new players. However, in an arena just as crowded in the way that the game’s arenas constantly feel throughout, Guntastic does little in the way of setting itself apart from its contemporaries, except for design and clever sound effects. That is not to suggest that the game is not enjoyable or fun. It is in fact, very entertaining and challenging. It unfortunately just does not offer enough innovation to make it truly distinct.

The Setup

Players may choose one of eight very different and cleverly designed playable characters like Hornie, a purple-nosed and devil red with signature horns atop his head, or Poopy exactly what it sounds like. Next, players can set the game rules with the Y button. Rules such as player count, kill goal or round time limit. Also, you can choose CPU players and their difficulty level.

Character Select Screen

Gameplay to Die For

After choosing their characters and setting the rules for their game, players choose from six stages. Players may also choose to cycle between stages at the end of each round and start on a new stage. Each stage has its own unique setup, including different ways for players to lose if caught in the wrong situation. For example, the Woodchuck Lumber Inc. stage has a platform at the center that travels up and down. The underside of the platform has three circular saws and any player that is beneath the platform when it reaches the ground will be automatically killed.

Woodchuck Lumber Inc

Kill Count

Every shot in Guntastic is a one-shot kill and there are no lifelines or multiple hits needed to take down a single foe. When only a single player is left standing or if all players are dead (which can happen if two players hit one another simultaneously or if time runs out and no winner is declared) then the round is over. At the conclusion of each round, the amount of kills each player has successfully completed is counted.

The player to hit the set amount of kills is declared the winner. Weapons range from an extended boxing glove to a grenade launcher. Some weapons, like the grenade launcher, can backfire and kill the player who launched them. If this happens then the player actually loses one kill if they have earned one previously. If the suicide happens in the same round in which a player killed another player, the kill is canceled out and the player gains nor loses a kill.

This feature adds some difficulty to the fold but for some players could add a bit more chaos to an already chaotic battlefield. At the end of the game, players receive badges to show how the players fared. “Harmless” (a badge of a baby with a pacifier in its mouth), for example, is given to the player with the least amount of kills.

Replayability

Guntastic has lots of replay value if done so in groups, but single players may find themselves wrapped in a cycle of repetition. Some may find this to be better suited for mobile gaming. There is no story and there is no campaign mode. The game is a straightforward 2D action brawler meant to be played online or with friends.

In contrast to the unique stages in which players may choose to have their brawl, the characters don’t differ one from the other; they simply look different. There are no unique abilities nor weapons designated to each character and they have no unique backstory besides what is left to the player’s imagination.

The stages, while being perhaps Guntastic’s most unique feature, don’t have background or much context and become rather monotonous after a few playthroughs. In all honesty, at the conclusion of a single game, players have pretty much figured out the entirety of Guntastic. While the game itself is very bright and colorful with beautiful 8-bit style graphics that put some of its contemporaries to shame, it does little in the way of helping it stand out from battle games just like it.

Sun Temple

Final Thoughts

Guntastic is a high-flying 2D action brawler with some campy and fun-looking characters, visuals, and sound effects. It is quite an impressive effort considering that the producers are nothing more than a team of two. Produced by Ludicrous Games, it’s the perfect party game for groups of friends to enjoy both on and offline but may offer very little to single players.

Guntastic is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Steam.

Note: Review code provided by Ludicrous Games Team.

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