If you haven’t heard of Enter the Gungeon before now you’ve probably been kidnapped and held hostage in a basement somewhere. Whatever you are doing stop reading this review and call emergency services. If on the small chance you haven’t been held somewhere against your will without access to the internet and you don’t know what Enter the Gungeon is read on because this is our Enter the Gungeon review for the Nintendo Switch.
In early April 2016 developer Dodge Roll along with their publisher Devolver Digital released Enter the Gungeon onto Steam and the puns have been firing along since then. Gungeon is a twin-stick shooter, (run with your left stick, aim with your right) sometimes referred to as a bullet hell, and oh man, does this game earn that title. It also has roguelike elements to enhance replayability. Each time you die, and you will die, a lot, the Gungeon will be redesigned.
By why exactly do you even want to wander through this hellscape? That parts easy. You want to find an artifact, in this case, a gun that can kill the past, so you can prevent this whole mess from happening. Simple right?
Gungeon has already made its way to the PS4 and the XBox One but now it has been ported to the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is a console that indie games have gone on to thrive as of late and Gungeon seems to be no exception. The game runs fantastic in either handheld or docked mode. The only noticeable quirk seems to be the game has extremely long load times but that could be due to the Gungeon rebuilding itself after each playthrough.
After you play a short and easy dungeon where you are taught the ropes by Manuel, did I mention this game was punny? You’ll get your chance at the Gungeon. Don’t be fooled at the ease in which you’ll make it through the starter area. Once you get into the Gungeon the game’s difficulty will spike. It will be hard. But you will learn, and you will get better. You also won’t suffer a lot of cheap deaths. If you die, it was probably your fault and you can learn from that and go back into the game a better player. The game can be frustratingly difficult but it’s also rewarding once you finally clear a level. Adding to the difficulty is that if you die to a boss you aren’t guaranteed to see that boss again on the subsequent playthrough. You’ll have to learn an entirely new boss.
It plays strongly upon the theme of weapons and specifically guns and bullets. Some of the earlier enemies you’ll face are actually bullets which fire bullets at you. Shotgun casings will probably fire a barrage of bullets at you, while a single bullet will more than likely shot a stream of bullets at you. You can barrel roll, flip tables for cover, and run around corners to avoid these projectiles. You can also use an ability to clear the room of bullets and prevent your enemies from firing for a few seconds to gain the advantage.
As you make your way from room to room in the Gungeon you can find items and weapons to help you on your journey. Whether that is a bullet bag that gives you increased life or a power-up like the Heart of Ice. The heart of ice is a frozen heart that you carry and if you take damage you explode and shower the room with ice fragments that damage everything.
The game looks great with its fantastic pixel art and also has a soundtrack that makes the game sound just as cool as it looks. If you are into puns and twin-stick shooters then Enter the Gungeon is probably for you. The game also features a co-op mode so if you aren’t into getting beat on alone you can bring a friend along for the bullet storm ride.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on Switch with a code provided by PR.
COMPARE TO: The Binding of Isaac (but with fewer poop jokes).