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Luckslinger Review

Luckslinger is part Spaghetti Western arcade game, part RPG, and part sound machine. It is pixel art style taken to the extreme. For some reason the sounds and music are made a big deal in the game, complete with pixelated record players. There is also silly humor worked into the game, some of which is genuinely funny, most of which is just silly. Apparently Luckslinger has been around since 2015, so it is not a new game.

Luckslinger is designed to be played via a controller. Although there are keys mapped to most of the controls, at least one of them is not and there is no way to change the controls. For a PC gamer with no hand-held controller, this game will be very difficult to play, maybe near impossible with the missing control (a forward roll action to dodge bullets). There are appear to be a few hidden or undocumented controls, because some combination of buttons pressed down cause actions that aren’t mentioned, like flipping a coin. One critical action that isn’t explained is reloading, and there isn’t an obvious way to do it with a keyboard as the controller. In a game where it takes many bullets or knife throws to take down a single enemy, not having a simple reload mechanism is unforgivable.

The graphics and sounds are a mixed bag. Everything is pixelated, but some play areas were lazily put together with bland rectangular geometry that look like kindergarten drawings. Yet other areas have a western feel that looks like an old arcade game. The sounds are similar. Much of the game there is a weird semi-western sound with DJ record scratching and repetitive trance-style sampling. Some areas, like entering a town, there might be a simple spaghetti western theme without the DJ nonsense, which sounds perfect.

Luckslinger has some unvoiced dialog and shops that give it some RPG feel rather than just a fast-paced arcade game. There are shops that sell things like extra lives, health, and weapon upgrades for gold coins. For an arcade style game, the pace is surprisingly slow. The bullets are not all that hard to dodge, the traps not very hard to avoid. It possible to avoid bullets and jump right over enemies and just leave them behind. As far as “slinging luck” goes, it doesn’t seem to have a control, it just happens. Luckslinger is a bust at $10; it is a game made seven years ago with controls that only work with a controller, and even then, not well. An arcade style game has to have rock-solid controls and Luckslinger is a controls mess that is not recommended.

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Jacmac is an ancient gamer that loves open world, strategy, FPS, and tactical sims, but will play almost anything.

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