*Insert my gaming credentials that no one really cares about anyway...* Oh, hi there, I run the place so thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoy your stay!
It’s hard to recall a system in recent memory that has seemingly taken off the way the Nintendo Switch has. The inherent versatility and portability, not just of the system but games to the platform, has meant a plethora of games being available in a short amount of time. Even better for consumers is that many of those being ported to the Switch are already well regarded titles. The latest to join the Switch line-up is ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun. This two button platformer might be best described as Flappy Birds meets Meatboy but with guns.
Well ok, maybe that isn’t the best description in the world, but it should give you the basic idea. The goal and basis of gameplay are simple, but the execution is anything but. Shoot downwards to control your altitude, shoot forwards to destroy obstacles in your path. Set in a dying solar system the goal is to scavenge atomik’s. The Sun is swelling and eating up worlds. You’ll have to hurry to pick up those atomik’s.
The action is fast paced. The good news is that collecting every single atomik isn’t required to advance levels, in fact skipping one entirely is an option as well. Things do start off relatively simple but continue to ramp up over 3 worlds of action and over 120 levels. While total collection isn’t required, you will need to collect enough to unlock the other worlds. While you probably will collect enough to unlock worlds through natural game and just purely surviving through the levels it does add some real replay value. Going back over worlds to master them and collecting every one becomes a game within itself.
Because we’re talking the Switch here we have several different ways to play. I found myself mostly heading towards the handheld mode most often. There’s nothing wrong with playing while docked on a big screen, but things felt most at home for me in my hands. This does however lead into my only real issue with RunGunJumpGun and that is the buttons used. The jump is tied to the L button and the gun is the R. That in itself isn’t bad and maybe it’s more conducive to your hands than mine, but while the game lends itself to some longer playthroughs the control scheme left my hands cramped after a short time.
I’m not sure why those were chosen over the zL and zR buttons, as these seem to fall where ones hands naturally do. The L and R require a slight stretch, which is ok in moderation, but for constant use it becomes more problematic. It’s just a comfort thing and being able to remap the controls would be nice. This might not be the issue with some other controllers, but like all Switch games, I like to test them on the on the controls that come with the system.
Hand cramps aside, RunGunJumpGun is your quintessential easy to pick up, hard to master title. The levels offer up an increasing level of difficulty that very rarely will be rage inducing. They’re well designed and that will keep you coming back for more. Simple yet addictive is that magical recipe to keep players coming back for more and RunGunJumpGun is just that. If you are looking for a challenge that leaves you feeling satisfied upon completion than this is the game for you.