Okay, before you call foul that we are covering a newer game here on RETRO, let me just mention that coverage like this is limited to decidedly retro content (we won’t bombard you with tidbits on the latest Mortal Kombat 11). With that said, titles like Guns of Mercy scream retro and we think this type of content is right for you, our friends. If you are not familiar with Guns of Mercy then you are in for a treat, especially if you enjoy titles like Contra or Gunstar Heroes.
First of all, Guns of Mercy is a single screen blast-a-thon that has that retro feel that is missing from “newer” retro stylized games. Graphically, Storybird went with pixels upon pixels and that is awesome. If you have been rocking the Super Nintendo, or early 32-bit 2D, games then you will be right at home with Guns of Mercy.
As we used to say back in the day, things blow up real good here.
While you will notice nods to classics such as Contra Hard Corps, there is something missing here. Scrolling. Yep, Guns of Mercy is a single screen shooter – there is no scrolling so no having to worry about missing a crucial jump.
You are in control of your character with the option to move left and right, no jump. Your character controls are on the left side of the screen while the right side features a slider.
This slider is your aiming tool. You have 180 degrees of shooting available (don’t worry, auto-fire is turned on).
While this may sound super simple, it is, this is also the mechanic that lets you just veg out and blow stuff up. Sometimes that is all we really want out of our games, a chance to just dial in the controls and let loose without having to think every few seconds about a purchase or how to navigate a tricky section of the level.
Each level has you blasting enemies, some airborne others ground based, and collecting items they drop (often it is currency but sometimes weapon/armor upgrades). Between levels you can upgrade your character, weapons, armor, etc. It is not as deep as say Final Fantasy VII but it is serviceable and gives Guns of Mercy a bit of depth beyond just mindlessly blasting enemies.
Much like the classics, one hit and you are dead here. That is when you hit the store and bulk up a bit with your collected rewards and then get back out there and advance just a little more. Repeat.
There are In-App Purchases in Guns of Mercy. My time with this run and gun has left me wanting to play more. Sure, if I would buy some of the power-ups I am sure I could progress even further in a quicker fashion. I don’t purchase any IAP for reviews as I feel that swerves the overall feel of the game and can change the outcome of my reviews. Basically, if it is a free to play game then that is what I review – just how much fun can you have without spending money?
A lot. I am not not a “it all depends on this or that” kind of reviewer. If you like classics from companies like Treasure or Konami of old (before Pachinko took over their lives) then Guns of Mercy will be right up your alley. Plain and simple.
Storybird are also fans of retro gaming as evidenced by the fact that they have ported Guns of Mercy to the Sega Dreamcast and most recently, the Nintendo Switch. If we have enough interest in this review I will see about covering the differences between the available versions in a future article.
Guns of Mercy by Storybird
Platform: Android, also available for Nintendo Switch, Sega Dreamcast, and iPhone
In App Purchases: Yes, coin doubler, gems, etc (optional if you grind)
Rated: E10 for Everyone 10+
Available now on Google Play, iTunes, Nintendo Switch, and coming soon to Sega Dreamcast