Indie titles are making stronger appearances into the realm of the EA’s, Ubisoft’s, and Activision’s of the gaming universe than ever before. Triple A games often leave us with a heavy feeling of excitement and hype, but also tend to put us down with an abundance of microtransactions and mediocre gameplay. This leaves us with the smaller companies to look to. Developers who are just trying to make a fun game and a name for themselves while also being able to pay the bills and enjoy their hobbies or new professions of game creation. Consumers are realizing this and are becoming more willing to give a few bucks to creators who deserve the money for a game that can give us a few hours of fun. So how about Pixelshard and Killhouse Games? Let’s take a look at Door Kickers: Action Squad and find out.
The base of this game is a side scrolling 8 bit shooter with you being a SWAT team member fighting to save the hostage, stop the bomb, and take out the bad guys. There’s no story to the game, which is fine. You’re simply meant to just go in, gun ’em down, and complete the other objectives. Saving hostages, stopping a bomb from exploding, and arresting specific targets are the goal. Each mission you’ll complete is a bit different from others. There will be different spots enemies can surprise you from and varying locations you’ll visit. You can switch between characters that may work better depending on the mission; switch weapons, armor, and gadgets to suit who it is you’re against and if you’re facing the possibility of killing hostages; and you can even team up with other players for a multiplayer experience. The game is fun, addictive, and challenging. There are some negatives, just like any game, but for the most part are minor.
This game really feels like it would be best played on a phone. It feels like mobile games that you’d pick up for a dollar. But if it was on a phone, I’d be very surprised at the amount of characters to play as, weaponry to use, and the fact you can play cooperatively. The gameplay itself is what sets it apart. There’s no aiming. You shoot towards the front or turn and shoot behind. It’s not a game breaker though. If you need to shoot someone above you, simply hop up to a higher location. Enemies don’t “notice” you till you’re at least close to their level. My only other gripe is that there’s no change in enemies spawn points. You could die a thousand times in one mission, but they’ll always be in the same spot as soon as you restart it. This means the game has a smaller replay value, but it’s definitely not a big deal.
The graphics in this game are of the 8 bit style variety. It’s kind of a “love it or hate it” sort. It’s not pretty, but it’s interesting. It also means you don’t need strong hardware to run the game. My 1080 Ti sat at 2% usage for the entirety of my game time. It’s great that games like these exists to give people with lesser hardware or casual gamers a chance to enjoy titles like these. This is why PC gaming is so valuable. The audio, it’s awesome. The whole game does have an 80s vibe to it, but the audio nails it. It really does a good job of tying together an 80s themed game and making it unique.
For $13.99, I feel this game is a bit steep on price from an indie developer, especially if you’re trying to get people who’ve never played a title like this or aren’t familiar with your offerings. Though it is worth the price for hours of fun. I’m glad I had the opportunity to give this game a go. It even opened my eyes more to low budget devs. I’m sure this game will go on sale often, but if you have a few extra bucks, why not help a company like this out? They’re giving you quality gameplay for hours and hours at a fair price.
Dan Mount is a lifelong avid gamer and computer builder. He’s been playing games on consoles of all sorts starting with the NES and now plays many different genres on the PC. Writing is a hobby, but gaming is a life style.