Mobile Gaming Nintendo Nintendo Switch PC Gaming PlayStation PlayStation 4 Xbox Xbox One

Huntdown Combines 90s Gameplay and 80s Culture

Courtesy of Easy Trigger Games


Release Date: October 29, 2021
Available as: Digital and Physical (PS4 and Switch Only)

Bounty Hunters, Come Out And Play!

Very rarely is there a game that flies under the radar yet presents itself as a passion project. The creative minds at Easy Trigger Games certainly developed a title in Huntdown, a 2D run and gun platformer. Originally released on PC in 2020, in the past year releases have trickled down across many platforms. In October, a physical limited run of the game was released on the Switch and PS4. For the first time, fans of the game and newcomers alike can own the fruits of Easy Trigger's labor. Before popping the game in, the attention to detail in the game's box art was mesmerizing.

The artwork for the game's cover gave off an early 90s vibe. Looking at the presentation gave me early Contra and Metal Gear aesthetics, the former not being a bad comparison. What I found amusing was that the game advertised its inclusion of a game manual in its limited edition. Every time I see games that include game manuals, like Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town's PS4 physical copy, it's always a treat. Easy Trigger Games' attention to detail extends to how the Switch physical copy was handled. Rather than using a vertical orientation, the Switch's manual is horizontal, a callback to old Nintendo GBA and SNES manuals. Both copies include pins of all three characters as well, as an added bonus.

Huntdown Gameplay
Huntdown - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Kickstart Your Heart With Huntdown's Gunplay Mechanics

Huntdown begins with the player selecting from three characters, Anna Conda, John Sawyer, and Mow Man. Each character behaves differently from the other as well as having their own personalities. John Sawyer is the "protagonist" with an appearance and one-liners that feels right at home in a Duke Nukem game. Anna Conda is the gun-crazy femme fatale always taunting her opponents. Amber Lee Connors's delivery of Anna Conda is spot on, fitting for the voice of Guilty Gear Strive's I-No. Mow Man is arguably the most unique of the three as he's a cyberninja android with a British accent. Not much else needs to be said.

The enemies the players will fight are just as colorful, ranging from muscle heads and street punks. While I've only played three levels in Huntdown, I've come across the best-voiced foe in the game. At the end of the third level, the player will enter a caged-off wrestling ring. Standing inside is Bad Boy Bob, who gives his best Macho Man Randy Savage impression. Hearing it at first took me completely off guard, but it was also one of the most interesting fights in Huntdown.

the cream of the crop!
Huntdown - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Huntdown Is The 'Cream Of The Crop!'

While primarily a run'n'gun 2D shooter, there's a lot of tactful strategies involved in Huntdown. Players will need to take advantage of the cover system, protecting themselves from enemy fire. Being too defensive will cause their cover to fail and getting hit with a melee attack will ruin it. This means players will need to keep moving but not run into a hailstorm of bullets. The enemies vary from grunts with guns to gangsters with crowbars and bats. Eventually, players will engage with dogs who will ambush the player and large targets that deal a lot of damage.

Enemies will drop weapons ranging from submachine guns, AK rifles, shotguns, grenades, and many more. Huntdown encourages the player to spend as much ammo as possible. This is because the game spares no expense at fueling the player's hunger for carnage. Every room has weapons for players to explore, checkpoints are generous, and lives are infinite. This is a great QoL for a game like this to have as there are many trial and error segments for the player to overcome. It never gets frustrating as every enemy has a pattern that's easy to memorize.

huntdown anna conda
Huntdown - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Huntdown Sates The 'Appetite For Destruction'

From the grimy city streets, explosive soundtrack, and satisfying visual effects, Huntdown is a perfect ode to the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, I was unable to fully appreciate the licensed music featured in the game. Obvious reasons aside, there's a heavy influence in The Warriors, from the warring gangs and the licensed music. While Twisted Sister wasn't in the movie themselves, one of their songs featured in Huntdown, "Out on the Streets," was from an album heavily influenced by the movie.

Overall, if I could compare Huntdown to any game, I'd say it's Streets of Rage with guns. Both games have the player choose through a distinct roster, fight corruption and gangsters across a city, and are both addicting in gameplay. Even if it weren't for the bonus exclusive items found in the physical edition, Huntdown is definitely worth a try. It's a retro-inspired experience done right.

huntdown gameplay
Huntdown - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Huntdown is available on the PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and Mobile devices.

Leave a Reply