Sitting down with a couple of volunteers from the VGA in Nottingham, Gunkatana was extremely difficult to move on from. It’s a new local multiplayer game from developer Geraldo Nascimento filled with katana slicing, laser shooting murder goodness. As a lover of local multiplayer games, I placed Gunkatana firmly amongst my favorites at the event.

A violent pixel design indie game with a top down perspective, its hard not to make instant comparisons to the brilliant Hotline Miami. However this intended compliment may be selling the game short, Gunkatana has its own unique identity and plays considerably differently. The combat is fast and relentless, but forgivingly each attack allows a brief window opportunity of escape. Lasers can be dodged, a katana slash parried and the rapid rail grind of death leaves the attacker vulnerable. The combat isn’t just fast paced violence, exchanges can involve a great deal of strategy condensed into a split second decision.

Gunkatana matches aren’t won by number of kills, but rather how many gems collected. Every time a character dies they an amount of their gems to be collected by anyone. The drop is scaled to your total amount, providing a very powerful rubber banding mechanic that makes matches exciting to the last second. This mechanic also keeps lower skill players in the game, which might be preferred over the excellent, but worst-player-punishing Towerfall.

The early build I played did suffer from some bugs, but was amazingly fun and is definitely one to watch if you like local multiplayer games. Even as it is now, Gunkatana is a game I’d love to have in my collection.

Tom Evans

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