Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
You’re at a party and people are starting to get tired of Nidhogg (it’s a nerd party). Someone has eaten all the Twiglets, the Fanta is nearly finished. It looks like Kelly might go home. All hope seems lost.
“Wait,” says Thaddeus, “let’s play Samurai Gunn!”
Yes, Thaddeus. Let’s.
What’s Samurai Gunn? Speedy, murderous local multiplayer for people who don’t have time to listen to your bullshit. That’s what Samurai Gunn is. Four people crowd into a tiny arena. Each of you has a gun with three bullets, each of you has a sword, each of you is a fearless warrior. Jump, run, shoot, leap off the wall, avoid the spikes, oh no, you are dead, you were killed by: deadly katana.
Everything about the feel of your character in this is note-perfect. It is a brawl of reflexes, yes, but also of observation, focus and control. Measured movements almost always triumph over panicked ones. A careful strike can even reflect an otherwise lethal bullet. On top of that it is damn stylish – the granulated pixel art, the breathlike swish of your sword, the way it freezes, just for half a second, as someone lands the killing blow. You can’t see it now but I am doing a chef kiss. Mwah. Open a second bottle of Fanta, Thaddeus! This party is just getting started.