Hillbilly Doomsday fits into the Sometimes You library of published titles. It features simple, approachable gameplay. It only costs a few bucks. And it focuses its entire approach around one gimmick, in this case, smacking the crap out of monsters with a wide shovel swing and watching the gory chunks fall everywhere.
Despite the over-the-top gore effect, this is a 2D side-scrolling run-n-gun action platformer with approachable design. One button jumps, the other attacks. That’s it. There are no special moves or levels to gain. There is no timer to beat or leaderboards to climb. Nope, just run to the right until to reach the finish. Instead, defeated enemies will drop coins which can be spent on numerous new weapons and items so there is always something to unlock and try.
Each stage features tons of repeating enemies but you might not mind the monotony because of the unnecessary death animations. Each enemy explodes into a waterfall of chunky bits that actually litter the ground. Much more comical than horror-movie, this effect truly carries the experience and have not seen just a murderous blood gushing effect since Vandal Hearts on PS1… well, maybe Gears of Wars too.
Eventually you’ll unlock more weapons besides the peashooter but the melee attacking shovel weapon is always satisfying. Killing most common enemies in one swoop, this arcing attack makes the player feel powerful and it destroys everything in its path like a hot knife through butter. Due to the wide swing, it can hit enemies above and below, even in the same swipe, so this weapon is the go-to even after unlocking heavier ranged weaponry.
Even though decimating enemies with a single shovel blast is enjoyable, Hillbilly Doomsday isn’t the smoothest experience. Some jumps can be real jerks as you need to be pixel perfect and often times an enemy will be waiting on the edge. The good news is, it seems like the game has compensated for this dastardly design with a forgiving checkpoint system. Whether losing a life or needing to restart, the player starts at the beginning the last cleared screen. Unfortunately, levels go on for too long and bosses are total bullet sponges which gets tiresome.
If you enjoy action with your platforming, especially the ridiculous kind, Hillbilly Doomsday is the low-cost indie game for you with many easily obtainable Achievements. The straightforward gameplay might be built for anybody but the young’ins might want to look the other way from the gory bits.
Much More Fun Than: Whiskey & Zombies
Also Try: Shovel Knight
Don’t Forget About: Pandemic Shooter
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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