I’m sure you’ve all heard of, and maybe even played Happy Wheels. A game made famous by a variety of YouTubers as they struggled to complete crazy stages built by a community, avoiding death and dismemberment to arrive safely at the finish line in mostly one piece. Well, now we get to experience this in 3D, with all the ragdoll physics you can handle. I’m Weise, aka Thomas, and I invited you to compete in these extraordinary challenges of life and death in Guts and Glory, the early access game by HakJak Productions, published by tinyBuild Games.
Normally when I review a game, I start with the storyline and any background elements to give you an idea of the world you are living in. Guts and Glory is a bit of a different style of game, however, and there isn’t much story to go with it. Ordinary people are competing in extraordinary challenges, attempting to survive courses from hell, with landmines, turrets, cannons, and more trying to kill them along the way. Why do they compete? We may never know, but I’d like to suggest maybe they have been chosen in a Hunger Games fashion to decide their own fate, live or die. That said, there really is no storyline here and one really shouldn’t expect one with this style of game.
Now, just because there is a lack of any story or plot doesn’t mean this game is not worth playing. The style is VERY much inspired by Happy Wheels, almost to the point of being able to say this is a copy-cat game, however I think the game stands on its own as a fun experience, modernizing Happy Wheels and adding its own flair to it.
You start by picking a stage, be it official or community created, then pick your character to compete with. These characters include a father son going on a nice bike ride, the redneck Earl on his four-wheeler, and the Yang Family in their sedan. Moving through the stage you need to avoid various obstacles such as cross bows, cannons, land mines, buzz saws and more.
Once you complete the official maps, however, there is so much more you can still do. The game has a level-editor and Steam Workshop support, allowing you to create your own levels and share them with friends, downloading other popular levels, and really giving you endless possibilities. The game is in early access, but at full release there is a plan to have 100 official tracks, 10 unique vehicles/characters, various power-ups, and loads more obstacles and props to fill the levels, adding more variety.
Visually, this game is quite graphic. With all of these obstacles, it should be mentioned the game is absolutely suited for a mature audience and is quite gory. You absolutely will be dismembered at some point, blown up into a bunch of pieces, and see your torso squirt blood as limbs are ripped off of you or you are sawn in half. That said, the game does all of this in near comic fashion, which depending on your taste, may be something you are either okay with or disgusted by.
The levels themselves have fairly simplistic models, but again this isn’t a game that is going for crazy story, graphics, and more like you would find in other titles. This game is about one thing, surviving the level and doing so in as close to one piece as possible.
The audio in this game is very much like the other elements I’ve discussed. The comical sounds and grunts as your character gets pummeled, blown up, and shot by the various obstacles adds to the comic relief of the gameplay. The sound effects of the crossbows, cannons, explosions, and more really do have quality and add to the overall atmosphere of this hellish land you are playing in.
Where this game shines is in its replay value. I’ve mentioned that at launch, it is in early access with various features still to come, but at full release it will have around 100 levels and 10 playable characters. Combine that with the endless possibility of Steam Workshop support due to the in-game level editor, you’ll find yourself with a $10.00 game that can provide hundreds of hours of endless and unique gameplay. To me, that holds a lot of value.
Overall, I really can’t complain about Guts and Glory. I came into it knowing it was backed by tinyBuild, a publisher that has never let me down. Combine that with a developer that is local to me (and I hope to meet sometime here) in Boise and I had to check it out. The early-access stigma has plagued many gamers, but with Guts and Glory already having the level-editor and steam workshop support, I think the $9.99 price tag is perfectly priced to allow you endless hours of fun if you are into the Happy Wheels style of gameplay.
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