Developed and published by Ludicrous Games, Guntastic is a frantic, fast-paced four-player battle game with quirky 8-bit style graphics and a looping high octane backing track that sounds like something from an old Road Rash game. The characters in the game are crude in design and name with the streaker being a guy modestly covering only his private area and poopy an anthropomorphic turd in pants.
There is no story to be had here as this is a straight to the action battler which can either be played locally or online. Locally you can play with buddies or against the AI, and online you can jump into a quick match or set up a private match for just your friends to join. It’s always nice when smaller indie titles go to the effort the include online play and Guntastic feels custom made for this with its fast action, though in my time reviewing this I did struggle to find many others to play with online.
The gameplay is very simple and easy for anyone to pick up and play. The rounds have a maximum time of 25 seconds and I have not once hit the time limit. That is because it is one-hit kills and so the rounds are usually over in under 10 seconds. Each player begins empty-handed; as soon as the round starts weapons pop out of the caches and you have to pick one up quick and get your opponents before they get you. It is a test of reflexes, luck and some skill. The round could be over in a few seconds so your reflexes have to be sharp to grab a weapon and pull that trigger quick. You need to rely on luck that the weapon that is closest to you at the start of the round will be one of the better ones though.
The weapons are varied, from an extending boxing glove to a drill bullet that can go through platforms, or a bomb launcher that fires walking bombs that keep moving until it hits a target. There are a few other weapons too, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The skill comes in the form of positioning. Each round you might start in a different location and some of the stages have a gimmick like a portal which will take you to the other side of the screen. You can also shoot through the portal to catch your enemy unawares, but as you can also shoot up and down, positioning is key to not leave yourself vulnerable.
The goal of the battle is not about survival – although that helps – but to get the most kills. If you kill two players but the final player kills you, then you still earned more points than them. As standard, it is the first person to accumulate 10 kills, although this can be altered in the settings, as can other rules. If you accidentally kill yourself you are then punished by losing a point. Even from the start if you kill yourself you will be on negative 1 so you will need to avoid the self-harm. Unfortunately, there is no other objective option which I think would have helped for some game variety.
There is little else to discuss really without being able to play others online to verify that experience. There are other quirky characters to choose from, many different stages to master, and the computer AI difficulty can be adjusted as well for the right level of challenge. But to be honest you will get the most joy out of this game by playing with friends or people online.
Guntastic is a fun battle game with an affinity with speed so things don’t get old too quickly. The rounds are fast, the action is faster and if you find friends to play with I am sure it will be highly competitive. Some may not enjoy the fact it largely favours luck over skill but I think that brings a little bit of balance to the non-hardcore gamers to give them a fighting chance. But battle games do usually suffer from a short lifespan, so unless it can keep its online play thriving, which may prove difficult, it may not last long in gamers minds.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.