Bunker Punks (2016)
Developer: Ninja Robot Dinosaur
Publisher: Ninja Robot Dinosaur
Price on Steam: $14.99
Platform Played: PC
The words Early Access are scary, and unfortunately a commonplace sight today for the hardcore gamer and the casual gamer like myself. Are games really publishable in the Early Access stage? Developers and publishers believe so, and this led to a begrudging acceptance by some and apathy by others.
Personally, I’ve played a sizable host of early access games. The majority have been bug-laden, halfway finished pieces of junk. Bunker Punks is early access, yet it is well on its way to become a quality game. This is the one time, I’ve not regretted playing an early access game.
Bunker Punks is the love child of numerous rogue likes and 90s FPS games like Doom (1993) and Wolfenstein 3D (1992). The combat takes place in an FPS environment where the player battles robots belonging to mega corporations that now control the earth. The enemies that the author encountered ranged from quad-copter drones, cyborg gunmen, and cyborg attack dogs. The attack dogs were the most vicious foe. You’ll be sweating as you battle these foes and sighing in relieve as the elevator door is unlocked and you can advance to the next stage.
Weapons range from assault rifles, revolvers, semi-automatic handguns, rocket launchers, and baseball bats. The author made it only to the halfway point in the game’s current set of procedurally generated levels. The player controlled characters have a bevy of arms and armor to chose from starting from skateboarder themed attire to military- grade armor accessories.
The punk, dystopian aesthetic is neat and well done here. The FPS levels are intense. My tactical approach that works more in games like Rainbow Six Vegas 2 has to be thrown out for a run and gun approach due to the power ups that appear and fade out shortly. Ammunition and credits were important as they upgraded the player’s own bunker.
I learned fast upgrading the bunker is no silly mini game. It is more than just the player’s hub like in X-Wing Alliance. It is the core of the experience. Your character cannot perform without adequate support, and the bunker headquarters of the player’s band of bunker punks is where they’ll get that support. I learned fast that the shooting ranges increased combat effectiveness. The infirmary added the ability to heal more between levels while in combat areas. The bunker needs to be maintained to keep your team alive.
My only two critique with Bunker Punks is the blocks of levels starting out could be longer. Furthermore, it would be nice to have a ‘save once’ feature like FTL. I and a lot of other people don’t have time to play an entire game through in one sitting. I don’t want to see my progress disappearing after quitting. Aside from that I’ve no qualms with the game. I’ll be eager to review and replay it once it is a final release.