The game is unforgiving and it doesn’t put up with the player’s nonsense, but it respects the player enough and doesn’t tire him out with its own. Adding to all that is a visual identity that’s a tribute to the 8bit era, but not in a “corny” way, a lively yet borderline aggressive color palette, and adrenalin pumping background music that’s never distracting.
RunGunJumpGun is simple arcade action taken to its extremes.
Overall, I was very pleased with RunGunJumpGun. At $7.99 it’s an utter steal on Steam, though I would recommend you buy the Special Atomik Edition for the incredible soundtrack. It’s not a game for everyone, but if you like hardcore platformers with lots of soul, then I’d recommend it wholeheartedly. ThirtyThree have proven themselves a developer to keep on my radar, and I’m very excited to see what else they can come up with in the future. For now, you’ll have to excuse me, as I need to go and try to find more Atomiks to get 100% completion!
For little more than a fancy new plastic fiver, RunGunJumpGun is really worth picking up if it’s a genre you get on well with. Levels may be short, but there’s a lot of them and the challenge more than makes up for their length. You do have to be a glutton for punishment to get the most out of the game, and even then the constant cycle of failing and retrying a level can get a little dull after a while.
While plenty of levels will look like a Super Mario Maker level from hell, they more often than not are so intuitively designed that you may understand its complexity before you even realise it
Overall, RunGunJumpGun plays the role of the franticly enjoyable 2D scroller well. Narrative is non-existing ultimately, but weirdly cool in that Hotline Miami kind of way, where blithering randomness manages to feel like expertly deployed story-telling. The parts where the game excels is in the way it forces you to multi-task forward thinking and twitch reaction and if you make it through a passage there’s a huge feeling of reward for your pain-staking perseverance. It won’t be everyone’s bag, but you won’t want to let its simplicity beat you – human nature dictates that.
If you like to be pushed to the absolute limit, the twitch-heavy gameplay and punishing level design will do just that, crushing your spirit along the way.