Name: Gumslinger by Itatake
Genre: Shooter, PvP
Platforms: Android, iOS
Playing Gumslinger put the developers in the spotlight for me. Some of their games are quite unique, but this one stood out in particular.
The gameplay in this physics-based Wild West-themed shooter is super simple. You drag around the right side of the screen to aim your gun, and the left side to shoot.
Whichever player depletes their opponent’s health first wins. Interestingly, the guns have no ammo count. So the moment a duel starts, you can blast away for as long as you’d like. (Or, well, until either you or your opponent fall dead.)
Gumslinger boasts “PVPb” tournaments which host duels amongst 64 players across the world. But that’s generally fake multiplayer; in the sense you’re actually duelling against bots that mimic that player’s gameplay style, not the players themselves. Even so, you’d still be competing against players in the leaderboards; the more duels you win, the higher you rank on a global scale and rise up in the leagues.
Winning duels and completing challenges will earn you rewards such as coins, stars and gems — whichhelp you unlock new bonuses. This would include characters, guns (which differin mechanics), locations, skins, and even death and victory effects.
There’s even a death effect of the character bursting into a gelatinous mess of guts which I grew fond of! So there’s a fair bit of engaging content present in the game to keep you interested in the long term, which was refreshing to see.
The fun in this minimalist gameplay concept isundoubtedly heightened by the whimsical soft-body physics. It’s satisfying to watch the characters fly off the handle when the bullet hits them. It’s similar to many brawler-based party games on Steam — Gang Beasts and Mad Streets are two obvious examples.
The art style was particularly impressive! The jello-like visual consistency made for an interesting artistic direction I don’t often see in video games. And I think that was a great choice; it makes the game stand out from the giant mobile game market, setting itself apart from hordes of saturated game assets and misleading screenshots.
Although largely a harmless issue, I wish the game’s user interface saw an improvement, specifically how it communicates information. The minimalist design spilt over a bit too much, which made reading tabs difficult. New players will find it troublesome at first because they won’t know what each icon represents right off the bat. This takes a bit of trial and error to see what goes where.
VERDICT: All in all, Gumslinger is a well-made game with a unique art direction that could’ve used a bit more time on the UI side of things. I give it a nineout of 10.