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Wildcat Gun Machine: A Never-ending Frenzy Of Cat Anger

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By Author: Jest Ka
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It has nothing to do with a story. You are someone who has a gun. There are bad people. Fire at them. Don't let them shoot at you.

What else do you want? Fine. You can use different kinds of guns to shoot, of course, and you can also get extra upgrades like grenades and faster movement. There's also a dash, which you can use to avoid getting shot, and the Gunmachine mode, which you can turn on after shooting a certain number of enemies.

Wildcat Gun Machine isn't so easy that it's silly, and there are some nice examples of level design, like winding corridors where enemies can get stuck (or you can get stuck by them) and acid sprays and exploding barrels that can hurt you. The maps are also well-made. Each act starts in a central area and moves outward, with different colored keys giving you access to different places.

But really, that's about it as far as taste goes. It all comes down to the shooting in the end.

PARTIALLY DECLAWED
Several reviewers of the game on Steam have said that the guns don't "feel" right. I didn't agree with all of these complaints. It's true that nothing feels as satisfyingly ...
... "heavy" as, say, a shotgun from any of the Doom games. In Wildcat Gun Machine, guns usually whir, buzz, or beep instead of making that big, bass-heavy shotgun sound. But the "feel" of the weapons makes a lot more sense when you think about how they were influenced by Japanese "bullet hell" games.

And it's not like the type of gun doesn't matter. I was surprised at how quickly I died after switching from a slow, heavy pistol to a lighter, faster-firing gun with a lower caliber.

This isn't Borderlands either. There aren't thousands of guns, but there are dozens, and you can carry two at once: a pistol and a rifle. The second one goes through bullets quickly, so choosing the right pistol is important. You also can't change your weapons on the fly; you have to go to the central checkpoint, which is also a save point and shop for upgrades. This makes gun choice even more important.

FANCY FEAST
Even though Wildcat Gun Machine doesn't have many extras, it has a lot of style. The art style reminds me a lot of new school tattoo art. It's a mix of cute and grotesque that's done in an over-the-top cartoonish way. Everything from the main character, who looks a bit like pop singer Pink with an eyepatch and a collection of brightly colored guns, to the enemies, who range from flying, flaming skulls to cyborg zombies to insectoid blob monsters from Cronenberg and Akira,

There's a lot of dubstep if that's your thing, and I really liked the moody progressive house track in the opening and loading screens.

MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT
Wildcat Gun Machine isn't perfect. It has some clipping problems, some pretty hard difficulty spikes, and other small problems, like bosses that run off the screen. How am I supposed to like the design of the monster if it keeps getting in the way?

On the other hand, it's interesting and stylish, and I kept coming back for more punishment even after multiple deaths that made me mutter under my breath.

It's also basically the first game made by a single person, which makes the amount of polish even more impressive and makes it easier to overlook the occasional rough spot. The person who runs Chunkybox Games already has a strong sense of style and a firm grasp on the core mechanics of several different types of shooters. Indie publisher Daedalic Entertainment was smart to pick this one up, and I can only imagine that they're just as excited to see what this developer does next as I am.

To discover more indie games, visit https://indiewod.com

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