Parents' Guide to

Dust & Neon

By Jesse Nau, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Western-themed action game is fun but repetitive.

Game Nintendo Switch , Windows 2023
Dust & Neon: poster showing the game's logo

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This futuristic Western action game's smooth controls are let down by its repetition. Dust & Neon takes traditional top-down twin stick shooting controls, where one hand moves while the other aims around the character, and combines it with the persistent progression of games like Hades. The gunslinger you control has access to three types of weapons (pistols, rifles, and shotguns) and is tasked with mowing down waves of robotic enemies. Each attempt features randomized equipment and missions to take on. You level up as you continue to defeat enemies, with your level sticking around between attempts, and you can use in-game currencies to purchase upgrades that last past each death. You progress through four increasingly dangerous zones, with bosses unlocking in each as you reach higher levels.

Dust & Neon feels good to play, and has a great cel-shaded look, but suffers a bit from a lack of variety in its gameplay. While the different guns you can pick up have a wide variety of variable attributes, they ultimately don't change the feel of the game enough. A good shotgun will be a great help, but it won't play too much differently than a random bad one. Ultimately, adding a run-based structure doesn't feel very beneficial when many of those runs feel too similar. Thankfully, the core gameplay controls well and provides a substantial challenge without feeling overly harsh or unfair. There's a good time to be found here if you enjoy the essentials of the gameplay, and aren't concerned about repeating stages with those same mechanics.

Game Details

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