You may throw a hell of a lotta buzzwords at Gun Rounds. It’s, directly, an indie roguelike (roguelite) bullet-hell deck builder with permadeath mechanics and tactical blah blah blah. You get the image. However in play, Blabberf’s turn-based shooter brings all these disparate phrases along with splendidly tight gun puzzles, a potent combination that simply squares up towards its style contemporaries.
Gun Rounds straddles an odd line, buying and selling in Pokemon battles by the use of Downwell‘s gunboots. Right here’s the deal – you’ve obtained a deck of various weapons at your disposal, every with their very own ammo value to make use of. In your flip, you choose a spot to focus on and hearth your bullet/sword/celestial beam/rocket of selection right into a subject filled with transferring monsters.
Then, it’s their flip to fireplace again. Whereas your featureless wee shooter can’t transfer freely like their foes, they will “block” incoming hearth will a well-timed hit on the spacebar.
See, there’s an exquisite financial system of play at work in Gun Rounds. Not solely does blocking save your well being (if you happen to’re good at it, at the very least), however it’ll usually pay again in further ammo for hits caught. That ammo feeds again into pulling bigger assaults again into play. There’s a extra dependable “reload” perform to convey again misplaced rounds. However if you happen to’re not taking pictures, you’re risking extra hits for a extra packed display.
Blocking these photographs was by no means a certain factor, both. Early on, certain, you’re hitting easy timing challenges – however because the biomes progress, new monsters arrive to combine issues up. Jellyfish will ship swarms of their youngsters after you. Crabs would possibly faux out with a pulled punch, or convey two heavy hits in from the aspect. Wasps shoot straight and quick, however if you happen to nail that dodge, they’ll take harm from their very own hit.
It’s a tightness of design that actually does recall the likes of Downwell, all the way down to even the extra instant visible cues. It even “borrows” the perfect a part of Moppin’s cave-diver – unlockable color palettes that shift the sport’s two-tone look as you push additional into its gun-puzzles.
In the event you’d instructed me Gun Rounds got here out throughout that early 2010s indie explosion, I’d simply consider you. It captures that era-specific vibe of crunchy pixels, laser-focused design and egregious display shake to a tee. Truthfully, it’s in all probability why this piece took 40 minutes longer than it ought to have to put in writing – that model is like catnip for me, and Gun Rounds hit the candy spot.
However because it occurs, Gun Rounds got here out final week, and is obtainable on Itch.io for £four/$5.