It might come as a surprise, but RunGunJumpGun is a game about moving quickly and firing a gun.
The ultra-difficult title borrows its sometimes painfully frustrating gameplay from indie games like Super Meat Boy, right down to the ability to instantly repeat a stage after failing. One hit kills you, forcing you to move through stages with surgical precision, which is difficult when you’re moving forward at such a high velocity.
In RunGunJumpGun you’re always moving forward shooting projectiles in front of you, but when spikes appear on the game’s various surfaces, you need to point your weapon’s fire down, allowing you to levitate over objects. Like most mobile games, RunGunJumpGun features an on-screen gamepad, which, unlike other titles adopting this control scheme, is actually surprisingly accurate: pressing down shoots your weapon towards the ground, blasting you through the air, and tapping the right side of the screen fires projectiles in that direction.
There are certain stages in RunGunJumpGun that are so difficult I’ve died hundreds of times while playing them. At times, the title actually feels like its channeling the Dark Souls franchise a little too much with its ultra difficult nature. Though, when I did finally finish that insanely difficult level, I felt a sense of satisfaction I rarely feel when playing mobile titles.
Visually, RunGunJumpGun borrows its pixelated nature and simple but compelling gameplay from the NES era and its limiting mid-90s drab colour pallet from the Sega Genesis. While some may be a fan of the game’s visuals, in an industry full of pixel art-filled, retro-inspired titles, Gambitious Digital Entertainment’s and Edmonton-based ThirtyThreeGames latest gets lost in the shuffle. I will say that the game’s anti-aliasing filled menus and story screens do have a certain appeal to them thanks to their unqiue look.
Thankfully what the game lacks in compelling visuals, it makes up for in simple, addictive gameplay that’s easy to pick up and nearly impossible to put down, especially when you’re stuck on a difficult level.
RunGunJumpGun is available on iOS for $3.99 CAD and is set to come to the Android Play Store in the next few weeks. The game is also available on Mac for $2.99 and PC via Steam for $3.49 (it’s 60 percent off right now and regularly priced at $8.49).