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Gunbrella Review in 3 Minutes


Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Gunbrella, a 2D action platformer by Doinksoft in which you fight enemies with an umbrella that is also a gun.

Gunbrella Review Transcript

Gunbrella is a 2D action platformer by Doinksoft in which you fight enemies with an umbrella that is also a gun.

The eponymous gunbrella is the centre of the game’s fast-paced combat and platforming. You can dash in any direction using your gunbrella, hold it upwards to fall slowly, or open it at the last moment to reflect projectiles. If you bump into an enemy while dashing, you’ll stun them, and you can shoot immediately after dashing. While you can only dash upwards once per airtime, you can refresh your dash by clinging to a wall, or dash downwards to touch the ground again.

This lends the game the potential to be frantic, with you dashing upwards over walls, shooting enemies, then dashing towards the next. But the game rarely demands this of you, at least on normal difficulty. If you want to play slowly and move from one enemy to the next, you certainly can, and the majority of the platforming is fairly easy. But it’s so fun to dash up and down, shotgunning enemies and sliding around the game’s world that I found myself doing it anyway.

Technically, the game provides you with limited ammo for non-shotgun bullet types like an assault rifle or flamethrower, but I found the game easier if I just used the shotgun for everything. There’s little encouragement to use your ammo outside of boss fights, and even then it’s often easier to stick to the shotgun since you have to scroll through every weapon type to choose the one you want, and it can be distracting while you’re dodging the game’s lethal attacks.

Other than a couple of standouts, the bosses are aesthetically and strategically quite similar. That said, they’re satisfying to run circles around, and since the game’s quite short, they don’t get overplayed.

The game’s animation is fluid and its pixel art is sharp. It’s fun to look at and super responsive, and also conveys emotions when it needs to. Some of the jazz-inspired music is really catchy, and the sound effects are pleasantly crunchy.

I completed Gunbrella in roughly 5 hours, and completed all side quests except for two. For a fast-paced action game, the story takes up a surprising amount of its runtime, and it doesn’t entirely stick the landing. While the middle of the game features likeable characters and pretty good dialogue, the game begins with your wife being killed and your child being kidnapped, an overdone trope at best, and the ending is bad. Without spoiling too much, we never find out how any characters feel about the ending, and that sucks because I was generally on board with the story.

There are some binary narrative choices, and while they’re not exactly deep, they work well at keeping you involved. There are a few sidequests you can choose to ignore or complete, and a few hidden chests and alternate paths, but outside of that, the game’s a linear run towards the ending. You do return to some areas later on to find new stuff, but it’s not a metroidvania deal. Your gunbrella abilities never evolve, but stay fun for the whole 5 hours, with health and damage upgrades giving a feeling of progression.

If you’re not a huge fan of action platformers, there’s not a lot here for you, and if you like long games, this isn’t one. But if you’re a fan of the genre, the combat and movement feel great, and it’s briskly paced with few missteps, making it a fun way to spend an afternoon or two.

Gunbrella releases September 13 on PC and Nintendo Switch for $14.99.

About the author

Elise Avery
Elise Avery is a freelance video editor and writer who has written for The Escapist for the last year and a half. She has written for PCGamesN and regularly reviews games for The Escapist's YouTube channel. Her writing focuses on indie games and game design, as well as coverage of Nintendo titles.