Hidden Gems: Enter the Gungeon
For some reason, most of my favourite games have bad puns for titles. But never before have I played a game where the entire game is centred around such a terrible joke. Enter the Gungeon, the debut game by Dodge Roll, spends 90% of its time obsessing over its namesake weapon. Since the final update, A Farewell to Arms came out recently, I thought now was as good a time as ever to give my two cents.
Enter the Gungeon is a bullet-hell style roguelike set in the Gungeon, a mystical dungeon created by a giant bullet crashing into the alien planet of Gunymede. Selecting from a cast of characters, each with their own unique starting abilities and weapons, you travel through the gungeon’s five main floors (as well as another five secret chambers). Your goal? A gun and bullet capable of killing the past.
The game’s wide arsenal is filled out with all sorts of bizarre firearms, from the JK-47 to the DOOM-referencing BSG, to a barrel that launches fish (think about it for a moment). These items are then buffed by a plethora of passive and active items to add another layer of insanity to the dungeon-crawling, rogue-like, bullet hell. All of the items are insanely varied, with references to everything from Greek myths (the wax wings) to Terry Pratchett’s cult classic Discworld series (the Hexarifle).
One of the Gungeon’s main attractions, at least for me, is the secrets hidden in each run. As well as the aforementioned secret floors, there are countless unlockable characters, weapons, and items, tied to sidequests starring the game’s countless NPCs. Due to the game’s rouge-like structure, finding one of these characters feels like a real treat. Some of my favourites are the Gunsling King, who offers you rewards for beating rooms under special conditions, or the Ledge Goblin, who actually rewards you for kicking her helmet into the depths of the caverns.
Overall, the Gungeon’s sheer variety is its greatest selling point, so if you’re a fan of fantastic procedurally-generated adventures, I can’t recommend it enough.