The marriage between hip-hop and a spaghetti western is as seldom as the moon is blue. Therefore, a blue moon must have occurred because Luckslinger is just that. We partake in a quest to head toward Clover creek, after receiving a lucky bracelet by a dying man. After arriving at Clover Creek you meet the one-armed sheriff who asks of a task from you — to bring back Sean, a man who has stolen all 6 luck charms from the town, dead or alive…
The introduction to Luckslinger does a great job introducing the mechanics and the theme simultaneously. The western tropes touch base with controls to ensure we understand how to play and what we are playing. Luckslinger is a rendition of a classic 2D platformer; with an emphasis on luck. Luck plays a vital role in separating Luckslinger out from the rest of the side strollers’ available. Luck is incorporated in two ways: luck can be collected from enemies and triggered manually to aid the character and can also have an automatic impact on the player by environmental hazards or enemies. I find that luck is a mechanic we don’t see often used and definitely have not seen as a primary function in a game.
The hip-hop fusion to the western theme fine tunes the gameplay and readily invites the player to an unconventional experience. I enjoyed the idea of character interaction translated by vinyl scratches and collecting vinyl’s to have a wider variety of beats to listen to. I feel the vinyl aspect of the game could be considered a character on its own, impressing its own personality alongside the protagonist and his duck.
Vinyl’s represent your characters life; with 3 restarts in the game you don’t want your record to stop spinning. Collecting microphones – which represent the 3 life you have before you restart, is vital in order to maintain your save point within the level. Which, I found to be not taken for granted.
This game is not for the lighthearted, I mean that in the sense that this games expectations of failure is grand. I found myself spending a lot of time measuring my options and playing it smart. The game, while fun, was very challenging to say the least – I found myself restarting levels numerous amount of times – perfecting the former half of the level with my eyes closed.
Luckslinger is one small step for spaghetti westerns and a giant leap for Indie games. I would recommend this game in a heartbeat. Luckslinger will be available on Steam July 16th.