The Gunstringer

Pay attention oh ye of short attention spans and boarder line dyslexics! The name of the game is “GunStringer” and not “Gun Slinger.” The importance of this distinction will quickly become apparent as you read this review.

GunStringer by TwistedPixel, uses Kinect to cast you as the puppeteer of a gun slinging wood sliver on a mission of revenge from beyond the grave. Getting weird enough for you yet sunshine? It gets better when you realize that you shoot things with the same quick cocking of the forearm you employed to pick off opponents as a ten year old – back when you played “cowboys & people with fewer guns.” Was that politically correct enough for you?

The stylish presentation of this all happening within an old puppet theatre is a neat idea and the production value is good. Unfortunately, the game itself is basically a conveyor belt of targets mixed with flashes of imagery reminding one of midway shooting games.

There’s some cute mixing of live action with the game play and it has a healthy sense of humour. However, cute-factor and one-liners aside, my sense of fun wore off long before I inflicted carpel tunnel syndrome on myself. I swear, one of these days’ peoples hands will just start randomly flying off while playing Kinect.

The controls are simple with your left hand controlling the puppet strings with very basic movements and your right hand acting as your trusty Colt – which in this game is equivalent to an assault rifle. The controls are simple, but it does take some coordination – playing this game, one looks like Doug Henning trying to make a dove appear under a handkerchief. The overly enthusiastic targeting system is arcade inspired all the way – I kept waiting for a plush toy to drop in my lap. Oh cripes! Not another stuffed banana!

That’s not to say that there is no skill in this game. Learning the sensor movement range and taking slow aim are key tricks. It’s kind of like figuring out just where to shoot the clown in the mouth at the fair. What?! Another freaking plush banana!?

Boomers will no doubt be disappointed that GunStringer is not a nostalgic trip into a Westworld fantasy, but only mild dyslexia would even suggest that was ever the intention. Frankly, this game might have gone over better if it had featured a well armed and angry Pinocchio shooting carpenter ants.

While I may not be willing to condemn GunStringer to Boot Hill, I won’t hold up a stagecoach to pay for a copy either.

Well shucks pardner, I hate to be harsh but a 4 out of 10 at best. The long and short of it is that you won’t get $40 of distraction out of this one unless your kid is hyperactive and violent.

Catch the trailer here: