Welcome back to the Indie Fix, a column which showcases Indie and games which have slipped under the radar. This week we’ll be going all stealth like, so put on your trench coats and fedoras and turn up the jazz, it’s Gunpoint.
Have you ever taken a pot, added the proverbial turnips of side scrolling, the onions of platforming, the leeks of stealth action and the mighty potato of hacking mechanics? Me neither, but Tom Francis did when he made Gunpoint, and he added a healthy splats of the Worcestershire Sauce of wit to boot.
Gunpoint is a game about getting into a building, hacking a computer, and getting out again. To do this you, Richard Conway, Freelance Espionage, are equipped with your bullfrog brand HyperTrousers and your trusty WireJack. Using these you must stealth, hack, punch, fling, kick and ineffectually hurl yourself at obstacles in order to make it through.
Your goal: to find and bring justice to a foul murderer…and get payed. The plot is relatively short, but very entertaining, and the different dialogue options make you want to replay the game to see what each result will find as a response.
Graphically, the game is simple in art style, but very smooth and sleek, matching the tone of somewhere between a dystopian future and the gritty streets of the 1920s.
The soundtrack is wonderful, smooth saxophones, jazzy piano and nice vibes really draw you into the game. Seriously, I can feel the smooth, dark grit all around my, like what I imagine a beach would be like.
One of the greatest strengths of this title is its replayability. This is achieved through the mechanics for beating a level. While you could simple stealth or bash your way through a level, you also have the ability to hack. In this case, hacking means being able to rig up any switch, to any door, to any camera, to any life, to any light. And there is nothing better than rigging up a circuit so that when you turn a light off, a guard will try to use a light switch, but instead cause to door behind him to slap him in the face. This kind of mechanic allows players to repeat the same level to try and complete it in a seemingly infinite number of ways. To give you more replayability, when you complete the game you can go back and replay any level with all your upgrades, and the game comes with an easy to use level creator.
There is stat progression, you can upgrade your jump height, jump speed, and battery capacity. You can also purchase new gear such as the Longshot, which lets you WireJack enemy guns, and the Hushcracker, which lets you break glass silently. It’s enough to have variety, but you will likely have all of them purchased and almost everything unlocked by the end of one playthrough, this is good because it allows for replayability, but also for altering your strategy during a mission.
All in all I would heartily recommend you get a copy of Gunpoint. It is relatively cheap and I have so far done 16 full playthroughs since buying it. Go get it, and get it now! It’s £6.99 on Steam for the standard Edition, £14.99 for the special edition (which includes developer commentary and the soundtrack, mmmh, that soundtrack…), or £22.99, which includes the soundtrack, commentary, a making of video feature, exclusive tracks and 9 playable versions of the game from each stage of development. You can pick it up at the official website, GunpointGame.