Alright, I’m back this week with another take on the Vampire Survivor formula. I don’t like driving but I like rouge-likes, so that means that I, as a modern indie gamer, am attracted to such a game. This week I take my whip out for a drive to kill zombies, space jellyfish, and “police” cars; this week is Guncar Arena.
Guncar Arena is a top-down action rogue-like from Devil Toad Studio. The game has a release date of Q1 of 2023 and the price does not exist, yet.
Start the game and immediately get put into a game where it is time to kill and survive. Just think Vampire Survivors, but with the ability to go much faster and drift. The introduction of Driving as the main mechanic of the game is interesting. Driving is fast and rewarding. The ability to dodge oncoming vehicles and shots can make for some harrowing moments that really get the blood pumping. There is also a boost feature that is seemingly unnecessary because the game is already fast-paced, why does it need to be faster?!
It takes a lot of getting used to because it is entirely toooooo chaotic. Damage is taken very often and the solution to dying quickly is that the maximum amount of damage that can be taken is way higher. Your vehicle is incredibly tanky and can take a lot of shots and rams from enemy vehicles. Enemies have the chance to drop ammo for both of your weapons and a first aid kit upon death, which makes Guncar Arena a little bit easier, but it is still very difficult.
Your vehicle has two weapons in the demo: A grenade launcher and engine guns. Both have an ammo cap that seems like it misplaced within the game. There were many times when enemies did not drop any ammo for either of my weapons and I was frantically driving around vehicular man slaughtering everything until it dropped. It was a hard pill to swallow after I died and started up a new game. It can be argued that the abilities upon leveling up can mitigate the lack of ammo.
Shoot bad guys, and bad guys drop little orbs that level you up, but with the catch that the rewards are not instant, but a box has to drop somewhere on the battlefield for you to go pick up. Upon pick up, there is a slew of different, albeit simple, powerups. Ram, primary and secondary damage boosts, boost upgrades, and more are available in the demo. Abilities have tiers and can be chosen more than once to upgrade the ability even more.
The game has a nice look to it, and is very clean. There are a bunch of enemy types that litter the map (noted above in the intro) and are honestly just blurs while playing the game. The only map is a desert map that is open and really allows the player to get a feel for the driving and combat.
Guncar Arena is a fun game, even though there are some setbacks. Builds are bland and uninspired so far, but still living a possible power fantasy is alive, within reason. The introduction of driving as the core mechanic makes for fun fast paced action that results in some really fun moments. One huge setback is that the game gets difficult very quickly and I don’t think that the abilities even the playing field by the time the difficulty spike arrives.
Other than that, Guncar Arena is definitely a demo to check out.