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The Absolute Joy Of Duck Game

Dynasties be damned

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.

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Adam Smith


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