Parents' Guide to

Wildcat Gun Machine

By Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Fun, attractive, yet shallow dungeon shooter.

Wildcat Gun Machine Cover

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This is a fun, accessible, affordable, and attractive "bullet hell dungeon shooter," that doesn't try to be anything that it's not -- but gamers may lose interest after a few hours of play. That is, while there's some depth in the weapon selection and upgrades of Wildcat Gun Machine, and some memorable boss battles, there could have been more to the maze-like levels, including gradually tougher puzzles and other challenging ways to advance. Or maybe by fleshing out the (virtually non-existent) story, exploring more of your heroine's role (and weaving in more meaning to the magical cats) could help make the action more engaging, not to mention adding a few narrative paths could add to the replayability, too. Or perhaps adding additional solo or multiplayer modes would help keep one's attention. You get the idea.

But Wildcat Gun Machine does succeed in delivering an over-the-top twin stick shoot-em-up with attractive 2D hand-drawn creatures (that increasingly get more and more bizarre as you progress), and the weapons are unique and worth exploring with trial and error to see what you like best. It's fun to build up your character's meter, which eventually allows you to hop into a 'mech for some serious damage (and temporary invincibility). While there are a few 'mechs to choose from, they don't change the experience, as you can't die when unleashing the carnage in any of them. It's also great to play with your abilities and upgrade them, find items on the levels, and steer clear of traps like spikes, laser beams, poisonous gas, and exploding barrels. Alas, while fast, frenetic and fun for a while, Wildcat Gun Machine loses its steam. You'll clear an area, kill the boss, find a key, and get to the next stage. Rinse and repeat. The levels are also quite linear and the game doesn't allow for much exploration, secrets, and collectibles. For only $12, though, this game will please many action fans. Just don't expect more than a weekend's worth of fun with it -- if that.

Game Details

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