PIXELS MEET PUNKS

Images from BunkerPunks.com

The end of the world has never been so rock ‘n’ roll

By Peter R. Clark   Travel Editor

“Bunker Punks” is an early access game currently in development by Ninja Robot Dinosaur. It is a rouge-like first person shooter game with retro elements.

Currently the game is very limited. You can play as 5 different punks (2 when you start, and 3 later after you unlock them) out of 10. There are 8 enemies, and 8 weapons to decimate those enemies with. In addition to weapons, there is also various armor you can pick up, which provides damage reduction, or increased weapon damage.

“Bunker Punks” has a pixel art aesthetic with a post-apocalyptic “us vs. them” narrative. The art juxtaposes the narrative in a good way. Each location has “They Live”-esque banners and a “Half-Life 2” sense of order and control. It works very well with the game’s feel.

The game’s progression is set up with a series of progressively harder locations that are procedurally generated. 

Each location has a set of floors, with the first locations having two floors, and the later levels having up to ten. Each floor ends with a small boss fight that leads with an elevator. The bosses in the first few locations become standard enemies in the later locations.

After you complete a location, you are transferred to the game’s namesake: the bunker. Here you can build things to improve your overall odds while in a location. Things like a shooting range to increase your damage, or a medical area to improve your Punk’s health. You use Creds to purchase buildings in this screen. After you are done building, you are ready to raid a new location. Here you can select equipment you’ve collected on mission for each of your punks.

The other currency you pick up in each location is Tech. This currency is not used until after all your Punks die or you clear out all the locations. Tech is used to purchase upgrades from merchants after the game so that your next playthrough will have new stuff to gather or build. You can purchase new Punks, weapons, armor, or buildings with Tech. Currently there is not much to purchase, and after two playthroughs I’ve already purchased everything.

This game is extremely difficult, even with everything unlocked. The last few locations are even more challenging, especially when you encounter a room full of giant rocket-shooting mechs and a gigantic spider tank. You can’t stand still in this game, because if you do, you will die.

My biggest complaint with this game is that when most enemies die they drop some sort of loot. Ammo, Creds, Tech, health etc., but this loot disappears way too fast. Hey buddy, I earned that, don’t make it disappear!

Overall, “Bunker Punks” is a great early access game that other companies can look at for inspiration of how to do early access. I look forward to playing this game again once more features are released.

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