The Luckiest Gun In The West
HIGH The soundtrack.
LOW Bad luck.
WTF It’s a hip-hop infused western. I’d have a lot of questions too.
I love Westerns. Whether it’s movies like True Grit, Dead Man, or even Hell or High Water, I love the look and feel of them. I’ve written at length about the lack of cowboys in games before and that sentiment is still true, so naturally, I’ll jump at any chance to play a Western-themed game, no matter the genre — a good thing, since this game blends several of them.
Developed by Duckbridge, Luckslinger is a 2D action-platformer in which players control the titular Luckslinger. Accompanied by his flying duck companion, a six-shooter and a throwing knife, this anti-hero must track down the six outlaws who robbed the town of Clovercreek.
Right off the bat, Luckslinger‘s visual style reminded me of old Atari and Intellivision games. It’s unique but simple, relying on a heavily pixelated look full of bright colors. Everything is well-defined and pops, and the main character’s look evokes that of characters from Sergio Corbucci’s famous Spaghetti Westerns like Django or The Mercenary, complete with a wide-brim cowboy hat, poncho, and bright red shirt. The soundtrack is just as stylish, thanks to a jazzy hip-hop score that elevates the entire experience to something cooler than expected.
Luckslinger’s gameplay revolves around running, jumping, and shooting, but the main hook revolves around “luck” — a force that can either help or hurt the player, and is treated as a commodity in this game’s world. Luck is represented by small gold tokens scattered across each area. When collected, they fill a ring that the Luckslinger can use.
For example, I was going to fall short while jumping over a gap. With a press of the Luck button, a platform manifested under me and I was able to save myself. Good luck also came into play in some gambling minigames, allowing me to tilt the odds and win money or special ammo. Of course, bad luck also exists, thanks to things like objects landing on the players, or small animals with a desire to attack. Unlike good luck, however, bad luck is seemingly random.
Combat here is enjoyable, but there are also plenty of distractions, like the aforementioned gambling minigames that allow players to earn luck, weapons, or money. Secrets also litter each town, like more money and even side missions like bounties and players can also collect records that play instrumental hip-hop — it’s a treat.
Overall, Luckslinger is a stylish and enjoyable adventure. Sure, it’s a little weird seeing a pixelated hip-hop spaghetti Western, but it successfully fuses different influences into a wild cowboy ride like none other.
Disclosures: This game is published and developed by Duckbridge. It is currently available on PS4, XBO, PC and Switch. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 5 hours were spent and the game was completed. There is no multiplayer.
Parents: According to the ESRB this game is rated T for Violence, Blood, and Crude Humor While it is a bit edgy with a dew crude jokes and pixelated blood. all the violence Is very cartoony and ripped from school games meaning young kids should be perfectly fine playing this game.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: Subtitles are present as well as all appropriate visual cues. No sound is needed to play this game and it is perfectly accessible.
Remappable Controls: No, the controls are not remappable. There is no control diagram but there is a tutorial in the beginning of the game that explains how to play. B is to jump, X is to shoot, Y is to throw a knife and the left bumper is to activate luck.
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GameCritics – What is your opinion on having a sub section (like Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers) on how the controls are in relation to the game’s challenges? I generally get really pissed off, undeservedly if I may say so, from games with clunky controls along with lightning quick enemies that fire projectiles with high-accuracy. Some demos are too short and limited in scope to determine if the controls are bearable or lead one to throw stuff out of the window.
Hey Mark! Thanks for the idea and the feedback. This kind of evaluation is really tough to do, though — people’s reactions and abilities are SO varied, it would be impossible for someone to give an accurate picture. For example, someone might say “Bloodborne’s controls are very tight and work perfectly” while another person would say “the enemies move too fast and deal too much damage for the controls to keep up.” What’s easy for one person is hard for another, and vice versa. I hate to say it, but I don’t think it would be feasible to do a… Read more »
Completely understand your point (eg if we looked at the controller sensitivity set by every gamer, they would be all over the map). By the way, I thought Bloodborne’s controls were excellent, same for Dishonored 2. Last of Us 2 was a bit clunky / slow but it didnt propel me to pick something up and hurl it at a window 🙂
Sometimes I find my own assumptions about controls differ greatly from others’. I thought Batman Arkham Knight controlled just fine, whereas my friend refused to play past an hour or two specifically because of the controls. And I’ve gotten into plenty of arguments about which of the Yakuza games – the ps3 gen or the ps4 gen – control better.