I love it when I come across a game that has been out for a while, yet I have only just come across. It also angers me a little that this managed to pass me by. Gunhouse is the sort of game I love to play.
In Gunhouse you have a mashup of two genres that seem like they shouldn’t work together, yet somehow do. Here you have a slimmed down tower defence, mixed with an equally slimed down action puzzler.
Imagine Plants vs Zombies lite, mixed with Super Puzzle Fighter lite and you are pretty much there. It has a look of being a bit of a poundland Cuphead too with the animations. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, it is unique still with the overall tone.
I’ll come to the gameplay shortly, but I must mention that whilst the visuals are nicely done, especially for a budget title. It is the soundtrack that really stands out. You’d be impressed if this was part of an Indie darling or top tier title. So it will come as no surprise when you realise Gunhouse graced by the presence of Fex composer, Disasterpiece. It is literally music to your ears.
Gameplay is split into two parts. Firstly you have to match blocks on the right side of the screen. When you match at least 4 you, you’ll need to slide them to either the right or left to power up standard weapons, or special attacks. This is done within a time limit each turn, before you turn your attention to phase two.
This is the tower defence part. Enemies will make their way to your base and you use the weapons you earned during the puzzle phase to keep them at bay. If your defence is breached they will take your orphans. Lose to many and it is game over.
It is really simple stuff, once you get past the initial confusion, thanks to a pretty lacklustre tutorial. Once it clicks though you make matches faster and get to grips with the nuances of the game.
One of the selling points of Gunhouse it the ‘unlimited levels’. Whilst initially this feel great, as you get endless game, you soon miss the feeling of proper progression. The weapon upgrades give a little sense of that, but not enough in the long run.
An endless mode is more than welcome, but it would have been better as an additional mode. It is a rare occasion where I felt a proper story could help. On the flip side though, there is no fluff at all. From the moment you start the game you are thrust into the action with zero waiting about. So swings and round-a-bouts really.
I am still really disappointed in myself for missing this upon initial release in 2018. Despite a couple of minor shortcomings, this is a fantastic game and one I will jump back into and play time and time again.
At less than £6 on the Nintendo eShop, if you have any interest in puzzle games, or tower defence, then you should really give Gunhouse a shot.