☆ Review: RunGun JumpGun "Minigun mayhem that may melt your mind" ☆

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Developer: ThirtyThree
Platform reviewed: Nintendo Switch
RunGunJumpGun is a twitch-shooter video game that was originally released on mobile devices in 2016 and has now been ported to the Nintendo Switch. 

The game avoids the usual pitfalls of mobile ports by being very, very good at what it does and what it does is kill you…a lot…but enjoyably.

The story behind RunGunJumpGun involves a sun going supernova and swallowing planets as the remaining worlds and civilisations descend into madness and chaos. 

This storyline is distilled into fiendishly simple two-button gameplay whereby your character, a scavenger of ‘Atomiks’ (glowing pickups), pegs it from the left of the screen to the right by shooting in two directions. Shooting down gets you airborne and shooting right tends to clear a path quite nicely, as miniguns are meant to do.
Each of the 120 levels in the game (split over three worlds, each with their own obstacles, enemies and traps) are between five and fifteen seconds long. Using your massive gun, you circumnavigate the treacherous caverns of razor-sharp teeth, spinning saws, space ships, lasers and all other kinds of trickery in your quest to collect Atomiks, if you dare. 

Although the levels are short, they are tough. The first couple of levels serve as a tutorial into the game, you never power-up or collect items that will assist you and so the only way to proceed is just to get better, or get lucky. The game features instant re-starts so the action never lets up as you blast your way through the solar system. The only defence that you have is that you can take two hits before dying, treasure that ability, TREASURE IT!

The graphics in RunGunJumpGun are silky smooth, retro-styled and accompanied with a pumping soundtrack. In-between each level you are treated to a brief snippet of various surreal alien characters commenting on the status of the universe and perhaps the occasional dig at your character’s motivations. These scenes feel quite Hotline Miami-esque in their abstract delivery and add to the druggy, panic-stricken feel of the game, another comparison can be made in the sheer speed and tone of the game which evokes both Hotline Miami and Super Meat Boy.
As you work your way through the forty levels that comprise each world, picking up the Atomiks (of which you need a certain amount to proceed) gets increasingly more difficult but for players who have a more casual approach and maybe  don’t want to grind their teeth into dust as they squeeze their Switch into submission out of boiling frustration, there is the ability to skip sections and even unlock all levels in the game, catering for all levels of skill. I seem to have hit my wall in the final section of the water world, reverse underwater physics be damned!
I thought it was a nice touch that developers ThirtyThree have made the point that RunGunJumpGun could also be accessible for gamers with physical disabilities as the two button control scheme can be mapped to any buttons on the Switch, this one-handed gameplay is quite inclusive and versatile for those who may struggle with more complex control schemes and also fits in nicely with Gameblast 18 taking place this month (www.gameblast18.org.uk, Special effect is a great charity that all of us at Games Freezer fully support and will be raising money for over the weekend of 23rd – 25th of February).
In summary, twitch-shooters are not everyone’s cup of tequila and cranberry juice but RunGunJumpGun is a very solid example of the genre and its zany approach to the story and the fact that it’s not a typical endless runner, split up as it is into brief sections with a definite endgame and with a play style that caters for everyone. 

Whilst there is the option for 100% completionists to do their thing (I have nothing but respect for anyone that manages to 100% RunGunJumpGun) but also makes room those of us who just want the challenge of getting through the game (by the skin of our teeth) and reaching a natural endpoint.

It feels like a fresh take on a genre that can get very crowded and in the wrong hands feel very flimsy. 

I found myself returning to the game with a ‘one-more-try’ attitude that to me was a reflection of the solid design and overall accessibility that the game exudes.
Right, I’m off to swear at the screen for a bit as I die for the thousandth time on the water sections.


Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Review By Britt @KingdomOfCarts

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