Developer: Easy Trigger Games
Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
Genre: Action, Side Scrolling
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 12/05/20
A code was provided for review purposes.
What do you get when you take the best parts of 80s action movies and combine them with the timeless gameplay of games such as Contra and Metal Slug? You get Huntdown! Is the latest offering from Easy Trigger Games a blast from the past? Let’s find out.
Huntdown is set in a dystopian future, in a city where gangs run rampant and the police have resorted to hiring bounty hunters to deal with the worst of the worst. Choosing from one of three possible hunters, players can enforce law and order on the streets as Ana Conda, John Sawyer or Mow Man. Each will start with a unique gun and projectile, and they all come fully loaded with quick-witted replies and catchphrases ripped right out of an action movie script. This game can be enjoyed in both single and multiplayer, but for the sake of this review, only the single-player experience has been covered.
When You’re Pushed, Killing’s as Easy as Breathing
Run and gun, beat ‘em up gameplay isn’t something new (just take a look at our review of The Ninja Saviours: Return Of The Warriors for another example of how to execute it in an amazing fashion), however, the simple approach that Huntdown takes makes it accessible to players. The face buttons will have you jump, shoot, change weapon and throw a projectile whereas a shoulder button will have you slide (or dive in the air). What would appear limiting is a very fulfilling way to traverse the levels as you slide and dive from ledges and through crowds of enemies as you hunt down (no pun intended) your bounty.
I Have a Machine Gun, Ho Ho Ho
Just like other games in this genre, upgrading your firepower in Huntdown is essential to progress through the campaign. Starting with a pistol (with unlimited ammo), players can pick up weapons such as uzis, AK-47s, grenade launchers, flamethrowers and more. Each one has limited ammo so keep an eye on how much you have left before facing off against another wave of enemies. Projectiles can also be upgraded in a very similar manner allowing for some devastating damage to be dealt out (throwing a grenade into an explosive barrel surrounded by enemies is certainly a way to make an entrance). It’s rarer to find projectiles in this game but they can be a lifesaver when things get tough.
Come With Me if You Want to Live
One thing that sets Huntdown apart from similar titles, is that the player has infinite lives and can never truly “lose” the game. That said, the game does reward you for surviving levels without dying so there are perks to having your wits about you here. The game will also set out challenges at the start of each level; they’re all usually the same but that doesn’t make them a walk in the park. You’ll be tasked with not only finishing the level without dying but also killing a certain amount of enemies as well as finding hidden “stashes” that are located throughout the level (some may require you to chase down certain bad guys too). There’s plenty here to keep you coming back if you’re a fiend for completion.
…and I’m All Outta Bubblegum
The 16bit pixel art style that the team behind Huntdown have gone for here really stands out in the modern media. Pixel art isn’t too uncommon, however the way it’s handled here really oozes with detail. From the unique and highly detailed levels to the animations of the enemies in the game, Huntdown is a gorgeous romp through a cyberpunk city that does its source material proud with each frame of gameplay. Fires tear apart the foreground when barrels blow up as neon signs light up the backgrounds. Each aspect of Huntdown’s design has been carefully crafted to fully bring the player into its world. The game’s action movie inspiration cannot be denied, and the cyberpunk dystopian future the game is set in is brought to life with the amazing effort the designers have put into Huntdown.
Resistance is Futile
A pumping soundtrack and witty dialogue ensure that Huntdown never gets old. The music harkens back to the era of 80s action films with supreme precision. Just closing your eyes and listening to the OST will have you feeling as if you’re about to watch The Running Man or Total Recall (the original, not the 2012 remake…we don’t speak about that). A quick look at the trailer and you’ll get the idea of the type of dialogue and humour used in this game. The developers knew exactly what they were doing here and the one-liners and clever comebacks will never fail to put a smile on your face. Even the sound effects capture the early 90s era of run ‘n’ gun games perfectly. This game is an audible delight.
If you find yourself looking for your next slice of adrenaline-fuelled gameplay, look no further than Huntdown. From the hilariously clever dialogue to the crisp graphics and awesome soundtrack, Huntdown feels like all the best parts of an action movie brought together to form one video game you should hunt down (pun intended) to add to your collection.
Rapid Reviews Rating
Huntdown can be purchased for the Nintendo Switch at the following link: Nintendo eShop