(Review) Gunpowder on The Teeth: Arcade

I’m a sucker for Gameboy graphics. It’s something that will almost always get me. I’ll have to admit that the description given to me wasn’t about being a hard-core platformer. I think I’ve stated already that I’ve resigned myself to not play those anymore. The description was… “lacking”… let’s just say. (It definitely declares itself that way now.) Either way, Gunpowder on The Teeth: Arcade does look fantastic with the monochromatic color scheme they went with, but it’s not all puppies and rainbows. Is the platforming too much? Is it worth the hair you might lose? Does it actually control intuitively “at the level of reflexes”? (I don’t even know what that means…) Let me break it down for you.

I was under the impression that you unlock all of the characters with the collection of dog tags, but I swear I unlocked Paratrooper by jumping into the helicopter blades and unceremoniously ending a life. That could have just been an achievement though…

On the surface, the difficulty doesn’t seem too tough. Even the video given didn’t look that harrowing. Let me reassure you that it is. If you are looking for a challenge, this platformer will give it to you. There are a ton of things that are hiding around every corner or at the bottom of a jump off point. You’ve got bad guys that want you dead. You’ve got barbed wire that wants you dead (with a vengeance, but I’ll get into that later). There are trucks, tanks and aircraft all with an eye for you. Luckily, there is also the environment that doesn’t look to kindly at letting you keep your one hit-point. (You’ll likely take a few fall deaths.) Take it in stride and figure out where everything is and on the tenth run, maybe sooner, you’ll make it to the end. Just don’t forget to look for and pick up the dog tags hidden throughout the levels. (Gottah catch’m all!)

Barbed wire! Barbed wire everywhere!

That’s all what you would come to expect in a platformer such as this. In that, there isn’t much of a surprise waiting for you. However, the game is more difficult than what’s visible on the surface and is looking to kill you. I mentioned that I love the aesthetics of the game and that much is true. At the same time, there is a downside to them as well. Since everything is roughly the same set of colors, bad guys will mix into the background and there are times when you’ll have to die a few times to figure out where you are getting shot from. It can be annoying, but that’s something you can work around. The one thing that stopped me cold from enjoying the thrill of the run was the hit boxes of the barbed wire. There are times when you will obviously jump into it and die. That makes sense. Sometimes you won’t die; you’ll just sit there until you jump out of it… and then it will kill you. Sometimes I’ve cleared a barbed wire trap only to have it pull me back in to kill me. That crap can get frustrating. Luckily, I’ve mostly had the kind that doesn’t kill you until you escape from it after moving slowly only to die. That’s… actually less frustrating, but it’s a momentum killer. In a game of quick deaths and fast restarts, slowly crawling out of something only to die to it when it should have killed you on impact is … dumb… for lack of a better word.

Being a tank is fun, but figuring out the distance for the shots took a few tries. Why shoot when you can run the baddies over though?

To be fair, they have a warning on their Steam page now that mentions that the game is difficult so if you’re not up for a challenge, they warn you that the game may not be your style. I think that might be a way to weed out those people who would just pick it up and assume it’s easier than it is only to get frustrated and leave a bad review. It’s understandable. On an even better note, they have a demo available so you can get your hands on it before you buy. That’s awesome! I really wish more developers would do this. As I’ve mentioned, some of the things can be frustrating, but if you know about them ahead of time, it may make that an easier pill to swallow if you go into the game knowing about it, so I hoped this helped.

As much as I may hate the barbed wire traps, Gunpowder on The Teeth: Arcade can’t make me hate the game or the experience. No matter how hard it tries. It’s very good at making me step away for a bit though. This truly is a tough platformer and while I’m glad I got the opportunity to try it out, I wouldn’t have picked it up as this is not my usual go-to genre. Having said that, I did enjoy the game; I’m just terrible at it. For those that love the hard-core platformers, you’ll find a nice retro home to call your own. The aesthetics are good and the music will keep you running… until you die, but then you can continue running again! It’s tough; good, but tough. If you’re asking for a challenge, then you should check this game out or at least try the demo. If you’re not looking to be challenged, then you probably won’t enjoy yourself too much, but you should still try out the demo. You never know; you just may like it!

Further Reading on Gunpowder on The Teeth: Arcade: Official Page / SteamTwitter

Admittedly, it’s way more fun when you’re the one to drop the bombs rather than when they are being dropped on you. I’m in there hiding to the right of the fire streaks hugging the barbed wire.

Love it or hate it, let me know!