Guns of Mercy is an action shooter developed by Storybird. Reminiscent of classic arcade titles like Space Invaders and Galaga, this stylish shooter offers bosses, upgrades, weapons, and challenges to complete. By mixing golden era inspired visuals and classic gameplay, Guns of Mercy hopes to present players with a rewarding and unique experience. Does it succeed to explosive results, or sizzle out without a bang?
Gameplay in Guns of Mercy is easy to learn and basic at its core. You control a warrior who combats various enemies using a variety of weapons. In the beginning, you'll only have your trusty blaster to depend on, as you progress from floor to floor of increasing difficulty. Each floor represents a level; a single screen where enemies fly by as you try to take them down. There's no time limit, but rather a kill limit. Each floor is marked as complete after killing the required number of enemies.
Enemy types are varied but not incredibly expansive. A lot of the enemy behavior reminded me of Galaga enemies. There's big groups of bugs that fly in swirling lines, large enemies that slowly progress along the top, etc. Unlike Galaga, you'll have to combat enemies on the ground as well. This is done by adjusting your aim to shoot along your x-axis.
Controlling your warrior is simple enough. You use two arrow buttons on the left side of the screen to move horizontally. You can't move up or down; your warrior's feet are firmly planted on the ground at all times. Aiming is all done with a slider on the right side of the screen. This slider moves from left to right, and adjusting it will pivot your gun to the correlated side. The controls feel responsive and tight, and you can adjust the aiming slider size for easier use.
Guns of Mercy is a game that's about repetition as well as progression, as each death leads you back to the hub world where you can visit the shop. The hub shop is where you get new weapons and upgrade previous ones, as well as equip new armor and accessories. There's power ups in the game, but those are bought with gems between floors as you ride the elevator. Gems represent the premium currency in Guns of Mercy, and you won't pick up many of these as you play. However, you will find yourself in abundance of the game's normal currency. These small silver and golden boxes are dropped by enemies upon death, and you collect them by simply moving over them.
Weapon upgrades are decently priced, but new weapons and accessories are quite pricey. I would've liked to see a bigger arsenal to choose from, as well as see the prices adjusted. Buying new weapons is completely possible without buying premium currency, it'll just take a while. Thankfully, there's a large list of extra challenges to achieve while exploring the various floors. These challenges have a variety of objectives, and are rewarded for things such as kills, collecting currency, and progression. Completing these challenges rewards you with currency to use in the shop, so there's a really rewarding gameplay loop baked into the game.
Overall, Guns of Mercy is an enjoyable time. Visually it's nice to look at, but the levels lack a true variety in background design and tone. Bosses punctuate the experience every 5 levels, and these fights feel the most well designed out of the entire experience. I really enjoyed fighting against increasingly difficult bosses, as it made me feel accomplished and excited. Due to a pricey shop economy, you won't unlock new weapons quickly unless you're intent on spending real cash. However, a nice challenge list prevents the game from getting too repetitive. If you enjoy the base game, I'm sure you'll enjoy the amount of content that Storybird has prepared. Give Guns of Mercy a try and see how you like it; I had quite a good time.
Reviewed by Matt
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