The Absolute Joy Of Duck Game

Duck Game [Steam page] made me swear at an empty room this morning. Not because one of the other ducks trapped me in a bubble and threw me off the edge of a level (although that did happen), not because a shotgun blasted me backwards through a door in a flurry of feathers (that also happened) and not because I popped on some plate mail only to run into a duck with a magnet, which he used to rip the sword out of my clutches and then clamped the magnet to my armour before lobbing me into a pit (also a thing that happened).

Duck Game made me swear because I couldn’t fucking believe I haven’t been playing it every day since it released. It’s brilliant.

I decided to take a quick peek at Duck Game this morning, having heard good things from a couple of friends. It’s a multiplayer game, with swift matchmaking and silky smooth netcode. Players are ducks and they can wear one of many hats. They can also use many weapons, including the aforementioned magnets, shotguns, swords and bubble guns. There are sniper rifles, revolvers, automatic pistols, muskets, swords, ridiculously satisfying grenades that you pop the pin out of and then try to lob at the last possible moment. There are mines, rocket launchers, laser rifles, laser pistols, banana peels, audio scramblers that fudge up opponents’ controls. There are flames, jetpacks, destructible environments, windows to dive through, doors to hide behind, boxes to headbutt, boulders to throw.

There’s also a healthy variety of levels. Some are tiny, hosting rounds that last a matter of seconds as all four players (you can play with less if you choose to) scramble for one or two weapons. Others are riddled with teleporters that confuse and befuddle. Many are packed with platforms and rooms, with obstacles and falls carefully positioned.

It’s like a cross between Super Smash Bros and Towerfall, and I’m going to spend so many hours playing it. There’s a button that makes your duck quack and it replaces every expletive, victory cry and gobbet of trash talk you might hear in a competitive multiplayer game and instead there’s just good natured humour as a duck wearing spectacles celebrates by throwing the corpse of his enemy into the air and letting out a chorus of quacks.

Wot I Think: Duck Game – a quackin’ good time. But seriously. It’s great.

28 Comments

  1. Lobotomist says:

    Ok, ok … ill get it

  2. Sin Vega says:

    Might solve a mystery
    Or rewrite history

  3. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    Looks like this one might just fit the bill.

  4. Zankman says:

    I was initially put-off, simply, I saw the aesthetic and the marketing and thought that this was some YouTuber-bait and/or lame nostalgia-centric shlock.

    However, although I am still not keen on the art and audio style, as well as generally anything that is supposed to thrive off of 8bit/16bit nostalgia, the gameplay… Man, the gameplay!

    I also can’t even begin to describe how happy I am that the developers were sensible and put in, you know, the only relevant type of MP – Online.

    Don’t get me wrong, Local MP aka “Couch MP” is a great inclusion. Unfortunately, far too many of these cool little party games ONLY posses Local MP and not Online.

    Like, say, Towerfall. Epic fail.

    • oWn4g3 says:

      I’m okay with Towerfall being local MP only. Otherwise I would probably not be playing anything else and what a waste that would be.

    • ElVaquero says:

      Having online MP just means the devs have a lower standard for acceptable lag. Online makes this a spot of good silly fun but not a serious competitive game like Towerfall

      • Zankman says:

        Competitive Towerfall? Duck Game being just a bit of silly fun?

        lol

    • ulix says:

      So does it have local coop as well?

  5. mechabuddha says:

    Is it better than Soldat or Liero?

    • Tacroy says:

      Same genre, better controls imo and the screen is significantly easier to read somehow.

      • Zankman says:

        I’d say that the genre is definitely not the same, all 3 games are quite different.

    • HuvaaKoodia says:

      I would say they are all sufficiently different to merit more detailed analysis.

      Soldat has a smooth movement system and requires both quick reflexes and good tactical positioning.
      Liero relies on the fully destructible environment and crazy overpowered, yet situational, weapons, while the movement system is rather clumsy.
      Duck game seems to be (I haven’t played it yet) a game about quick thinking and reflexes in a very chaotic environment. Reminds me of Chaos Faction, at least superficially.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Biggest difference with Duck Game is that you start with no weapons, the initial scramble of every round is trying to get to a weapon, preferably a good one.

  6. pepperfez says:

    How are Adult Swim so good at games? They just keep picking up really surprisingly excellent games from everywhere.

  7. Razumen says:

    This reminds me of Super Mario Wars, if it’s half as good as that it’s a buy for me.

  8. Wowbagger says:

    It’s a truly joyful experience, I’ve been playing with friends over Skype and the hilarity is infectious. I suck but I don’t care that I suck, surely that is an indicator of how good it is. Also there is single player (infuriating) challenges that you haven’t mentioned above.