Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Super Trunko Go Switch Review - Peanuts For An Elephant

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Super Trunk Go - Nintendo Switch Gameplay

Super Trunko Go

Developer: 88 Polygons
Release Date: April 27, 2023
Available as: Digital

The quest for the "perfect" retro game has been a task I unexpectantly found myself in ever since I first started covering "retro-inspired" games. Some games are more obvious with their homage to 1980s shooters, like Gyro Blade and even retro runners. In my eyes, a "great" retro game is something that takes familiar gameplay and showcases it in a way that's unique and equal parts modern. Super Trunko Go is an interesting title as it's a game that should meet all the criteria for such a title, but it ultimately depends on a player's patience. Ironically, a player's patience goes a long way in even the retro titles that Super Trunko Go is influenced by.

Much like Wildcat Gun Machine, Super Trunko Go is an isometric twin-stick shooter where the player will find weapon upgrades and fight waves of enemies to try and survive until the end of the level. The difference between these two games is that Wildcat was a procedurally generated experience. The protagonist could obtain upgrades and go down a slightly different path than most players, yet the more the player progressed, the better the rewards and the higher the dangers will be. In Super Trunko Go, there are close to thirty levels, each with the goal of reaching the end and/or defeating a boss at the end.

Super Trunko Go has some interesting cutscenes that remind me of older PlayStation-era narratives.

Everything that Trunko needs to finish a level is granted to them at the beginning of each level. There are several caveats that make Super Trunko Go one of the most challenging games of its type that I've played in a long time. For starters, the game takes a surprising element from most survival horror titles. Resources for each level are limited and Trunko does not have an infinite supply of ammunition. That means even their default blaster cannon can run out of bullets. Once a player runs out, the game even tells the player it's best to restart the level.

Any bullets the player receives are within the level boundaries themselves. These can usually be obtained by destroying boxes and occasionally defeating enemies, although conserving your ammo is important for the reasons stated above. This added an unexpected layer to Super Trunko Go's challenge. Is it best for the player to go guns blazing like this was a Gungrave game? Will doing so nip them in the bud later on in the level when the player desperately needs to eliminate foes to open barred gates? These are the risks that each player must go through, especially from playing each level for the first time.

Despite its childlike visuals, STG's difficulty can get fairly brutal.

I'd make the argument that this slows the pacing of the game to a crawl. Unlike games like Smash TV where the player relishes in carnage, Super Trunko Go plays itself more like a "cover shooter." The player has to occasionally peek out from walls to ensure enemies with their own blasters don't ambush the player. Health is just as finicky to come by and every death means the player, you guessed it, must start all over from the beginning of the level.

One thing that saves this game is the structure of Super Trunko Go itself. It's an arcade game in its presentation as well as its gameplay, making it a perfect fit for a Nintendo Switch and/or a Steam Deck library. Playing games where the objective is to clear levels in short bursts, like waiting for an appointment or taking public transportation, was the perfect path for Super Trunko Go to take. It never overstays its welcome and if the player should feel frustrated, they can always come back at another time and try again.

Seeing the "Level Clear" screen is always a confidence boost after three or more tries.

This was what ultimately made me begin to enjoy Super Trunko Go. It's a game that can be finished in one sitting, but it's a game based on an era where players find replayability in conquering the game's challenges. It's not a perfect game, but it's by no means a terrible one. It was a middle-of-the-road experience that, for $10, I can recommend for arcade fans of twin-stick shooters. Those who have been looking for a video game challenge from an unexpected source will also enjoy Super Trunko Go, now from many choices of platforms available.

Super Trunko Go is available on Steam with a console release set for April 27th, 2023. This review was made possible by Dolored Ent who provided us with a Nintendo Switch code.

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