Thursday, 7 January 2021

GUNPIGS: Firepower for Hire by Flynns Arcade 8/10E, Shoot-'em-up, Nintendo Switch

Released December 2020, Shoot-‘em-up, £4.49, Flynns Arcade,

Have you ever played a shoot-‘em-up? Me neither, not until I was invited to try out GUNPIG Firepower for Hire by Flynns Arcade. I almost declined on the spot as my genres tend to be JRPG, RPG, simulation, adventure, rhythm games, puzzles. Shoot-‘em-ups have always looked far too complicated for me to keep pace with and actually enjoy instead of running all around the screen while screaming silently in my head because everything is trying to kill me. 


Confession: that’s exactly how I initially felt playing GUNPIG. It may have been the first level, but everyone was truly out to get me and it was scary. It was out of my comfort zone. The one thing that kept me going through those awful first moments were how cute the pig was. Just look at it! Who wouldn’t want to protect this little dude from harm and try to keep him alive. I failed at least once, but I somehow miraculously made it to the end of the first level without dying. The jubilation of completing that level was immense. I survived my first shoot-‘em-up level! Go me! I had saved the pig which in turn saved may other pigs!

It is a simple enough concept: destroy everything before being killed by the many hostile enemies. Moving around didn’t take long to figure out, what took longer was remembering to keep turning myself in the best direction to shoot – with a 360 degree attack range for both me and the enemies there was a lot of manoeuvring which accompanied me silently screaming ‘What on earth am I doing?’ ‘Noooo, I got hit AGAIN!’ While I am not a pro by any stretch of the imagination at least I can shoot in the direction I need to. Most of the time.

What do you think a gunpig would shoot? Mud? Worse substances? Both are incorrect (although would be fun to implement if updates are considered for the future). A gunpig shoots fruit! Not just any fruit either, oranges, apples, cherries and more all can be used by going onto the fruit changing spot. Each fruit has different properties including frequency they fire and range of attack, finding the one to fit my playstyle didn’t take too long: regardless of if it fit my combat style I frequently used cherries as I love both how they look and how they taste. Yes, I can be superficial in games and if it is a weak weapon I simply persevere until I’m stronger. I can be quite stubborn when it comes to what I can play with. There is a lot to shoot in a level, from the enemies, a variety of barriers, items that need collecting to help my fight etc. Whether this is how I’m supposed to play I go by a rule of shoot everything in sight (it is a shoot-‘em-up game). Later levels may mean I need to be selective in my targets, but for now that is working out for me.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the game – I do need to have enough mental energy to cope with how busy the screen gets with the entire world being against my mere presence, so this won’t be a constantly played game or one played a lot (less so in summer when I have tad more energy). However, in very short bursts I am enjoying GUNPIG immensely. I’m sad that I can’t change either the style of pig or the clothes it wears, but there are fun stickers to collect throughout the game – getting my first was a joyous moment. The stickers don’t do anything other than be an indicator of how well the game went. 


FYI yes I’m Muslim and avoid pork, but I have loved piglets since I was a child as they are ridiculously cute and one of God’s many creatures.

While shoot-‘em-ups will never  be a favourite genre because I need to focus so much to stay alive, GUNPIGS: Firepower for Hire has been a fun first dip into the new to me genre of games. I do suggest you try this genre out as you may like it more than you think. Plus who could resist wanting to keep this piggy alive? 

Cute piggy with attitude! Shown again because it's adorable.


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