Review: Luckslinger, from Duckbridge

Luckslinger screenshot 1 desert
Review: Luckslinger, from Duckbridge

Platforms: Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Steam

Game Name: Luckslinger

Publisher: Duckbridge

Developer: Duckbridge

Genre: Action, Adventure

Release Date: July 16th, 2015

Luckslinger – What We Think:

Luckslinger is impressive; side-scrolling shooters aren’t exactly prolific these days, however this one not only nails the classic overall feeling but also goes the extra mile to innovate and add something new to the genre. Luckslinger combines classic side-scrolling action with some light adventure elements and an interesting luck system to add some intriguing variation to the challenges you’ll face throughout the game.

Cowboy Bebop

Luckslinger features a gun-toting cowboy as its protagonist, but expecting generic western concepts here would be unwise. Developers Duckbridge have successfully married the Wild West with hip-hop through the game’s soundtrack and the main character’s predilection with collecting vinyl records. This mixture of concepts makes for a refreshingly offbeat but welcoming world that is appealing despite the difficulty of the game.

Luckslinger 1

Luckslinger’s particular brand of action has you gunning down villainous cowboys as you travel the traditional 2D path of left to right. Platformer-style hazards litter the environment, and enemies will deploy a variety of weapons to take you down.

A Fistful of Shamrocks

The luck system is even more intriguing; killing enemies can sometimes yield luck points which are temporarily stored on your bracelet. The more luck you have, the higher chance that beneficial random events will occur. For example, if you fall in a pit, but you have a lot of luck stored up, a platform may spawn to save you. If you have low luck, enemies might spawn more often or rocks may fall on you from above. Getting injured will also cost you luck, so playing carefully is crucial to retaining your good fortune.

Luck can also be spent to provide short bursts of almost guaranteed good fortune. Altogether, it makes for a system that employs gameplay mechanics reminiscent of trapformers when you’re running low on luck and reverses this when you’re stocked up. The added tension of watching out for additional threats when you have no luck is juxtaposed well with the similarly tense feeling of trying to keep your luck when you’re fully charged up.

Luckslinger 2

Luckslinger’s use of minimalist pixel-based graphics helps to support the unusual style of the game. This basic aesthetic won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but it’s certainly functional when it comes to conveying the gameplay while showcasing the unique mechanics at play. The music is also important to this vibe; hip-hop-styled tracks frame the action of Luckslinger and help to cement its genre-bending style.

Luck Gives It Pluck

Altogether Luckslinger is a strong example of the side-scrolling shooter genre that manages to set itself apart through its odd combination of spaghetti western settings and hip-hop music and its truly unique take on the the luck mechanic. While Luck has been a stat in many RPGs, it often isn’t as successfully implemented.

Here, actual gameplay repercussions based on the player’s ability to accumulate it are clearly present. As a result, the appearance of threats and rewards hidden throughout levels actually feel like the random work of chance. This alone is quite an accomplishment and makes Luckslinger worthy of your attention.

Luckslinger – Official site

Get Luckslinger on Steam

[xrr rating=”4/5″]

Watch the trailer for Luckslinger below:

2 thoughts on “Review: Luckslinger, from Duckbridge

  1. I really like pixel graphics… and the concept of the luck points is a great idea.

  2. We added another difficulty setting for Luckslinger, and did some extra balancing. Now you can flip a switch to put the game on “new school” mode. In new school mode you can always restart at the latest checkpoint. We felt really sorry for the players that really wanted to see more of Luckslinger but couldn’t because of the difficulty… So there you go!

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