Then add brains for taste!
Guns, Gore & Cannoli is a pretty simple side-scrolling shoot-em-up game that would fit well back in the 16-bit era. It barely does anything of note to make it stand out from the crowd and it is as cliched as you can get. Yet, I cannot help but love the game.
You take on the role of Vinnie, a 1920’s Mobster who has been asked to do a job by a mob boss, but it soon transpires that this will be no ordinary job, as the streets are awash with the undead. So that is 1920’s mobsters vs zombies… Ok, I can go with that.
There are three things that you really need to know about this game that will help you decide if you want to but it and it has nothing to do with liking or hating games with zombies.
The art style is really well done, with the game having a nice animated feel to it, The movement is smooth and it is as clear as crystal. It does a fantastic job of giving the setting an authentic 1920’s feel and it is clear a lot of time and effort has been taken to get the atmosphere just right.
It isn’t just in the graphics this has been done, it is also with a really well composed soundtrack that adds that final element to tie it all together. From the moment you enter the game you believe in the setting, which is amazing when you consider this is a cartoony looking game.
There is nice variation to the levels and the characters that do a great job of highlighting progression, as well as making it clear how different enemy types work, which leads nicely to….
As mentioned in the opening, this isn’t a game that tries to redefine the genre, instead it plays it safe, which in turn means it can take tried and tested methods to put together ideal mechanics for this sort of game.
You move left to right, have a fire button, a reload button, weapon switch button, jump button, projectile button and that is pretty much it. Pick ups are automatic too, which means you can concentrate on clearing levels as you go.
For the most part it is all platforming and shooting, but there are a few designated arena areas, where you may need to wait for a timed event, or clear a certain amount of enemies, but these still feel like they have a nice pacing and are enjoyable rather than annoying.
By not trying to do anything majorly different, Guns, Gore & Cannoli stays a challenging but fun experience for the entire game and it is also one that really doesn’t try to outstay its welcome.
There is always a danger that focusing on a setting and single character type, can lead to a game just getting under the skin enough that it can be grating. Especially when it is written as a comedy.
As we all know, games that try humour can and will often get it wrong, with too many in-jokes, or lines that just don’t work on the whole and even a main character that is hard to like.
Credit again then, because the writing here is spot on, Vinnie is likable and his lines don’t get tiring or too repetitive. The ‘reference’ jokes are well realised and don’t try to be too clever and rather than trying to be laugh out loud funny, the writing here keeps having you raise a smile as you go and maybe a little chuckle.
By getting the above three things just right, Guns, Gore & Cannoli is a game that you can pick up, finish in a fairly short amount of time and move on. It won’t leave a lasting impression and it won’t be one you remember in years to come with fondness, but it will give you an enjoyable time whilst you play.
And do you know what? Those sorts of games are more than welcome in my book… Capiche!