Developed by doinksoft and published by Devolver Digital, Gunbrella is self-labeled as a gritty noir-punk action-adventure title. The opening cutscene sets the game’s overall tone quite well. You can immediately tell that the game will likely live up to its descriptor. We were able to go hands-on to preview Gunbrella, and the game is still being developed. But before we dive too deeply into this title, we need to address the umbrella in the room.
The player character is equipped with the titular Gunbrella. Half gun, half umbrella. While this combination is unlike any you may have seen before, it functions exactly as one might expect. It is a gun that can shoot bullets. But it also works as an umbrella – one that allows you to deflect projectiles, float like Mary Poppins, or even use ziplines. While the game itself is shaping up to be a fun action-platformer, the Gunbrella does a decent amount of the heavy lifting.
Double Edge Umbrella
Combat with the Gunbrella is interesting given its two-sided nature. While the Gunbrella, which essentially is a shotgun, is most effective at close range, that is also where danger is most present. Therefore, players will have to manage their spacing against enemies to ensure maximum damage while also being able to dodge or block attacks. That said, the game’s difficulty does not ramp up too quickly. Over time, movement with the Gunbrella becomes almost second nature, though the jumps always felt a bit floaty for me.
In addition to the game’s darker tones and fun usage of the Gunbrella, the title does a great job of establishing the side characters. Perhaps the most memorable character for me thus far has been a man in a trash can who gives you a quest to get him 3 rats. While the game is undoubtedly darker in nature (what gritty noir-punk game isn’t?), it also does not take itself overly seriously and has a lighter side as well.
So far, Gunbrella is putting all the pieces together. Gun, umbrella, platforming, combat, memorable characters, and solid art. While we’ll need to wait until the full release to get a better picture of the overall package, this hands-on preview allowed the game to shine on its own merits.
While only published by Devolver Digital, that is still a fact that is important for Gunbrella’s development. The industry has a high set of expectations when it comes to Devolver Digital-published games. Gunbrella is shaping up to meet those expectations as yet another quality title under the publisher. While there are some slight areas for adjustment, Gunbrella is well on its way to being one of the best indie titles of the year.
*** A preview code was provided by the publisher ***