It’s not all that often a game makes me genuinely laugh out loud. The medium, for the most part, has never really been especially great at conveying comedy in a traditional sense. Despite this, Guns, Gore and Cannoli is a funny game. Not because of the ‘comedic’ writing, that’s pretty standard ‘gaming funny’ stuff (i.e. not that funny), but rather because of the tone, presentation, and the incredible ability to just have a laugh with your friends. The game is fantastically silly; with a winning art style, some hilarious animations and a clear sense that the developers created this game without taking the process too seriously. This is small-scale indie development at its best - a short, cheap game with bucket-loads of character and surprisingly satisfying gameplay.
In short, Guns, Gore and Cannoli is just another of what must be the most common game on the market right now: a side-scrolling 2D shooter. It’s classic indie territory, perhaps owing to the fact that the template is now tried and tested - it’s just a matter of adding your own twist and ensuring that the gameplay is good enough to get people invested. On both of those accounts, Crazy Monkey Studios and Claeys Brothers has succeeded greatly. The game focuses on one Vinnie Cannoli, a 1920s gangster who’s given the task of finding a chap called Frankie in the what-it-says-on-the-tin city of Thugtown. He’s given the assignment by a doppelganger of The Godfather’s Don Corleone.
Of course, once Vinnie arrives in Thugtown, he realises the city has been overrun by zombies (typical), so must fight his way to finding Frankie and eventually working his way out of town. The game employs a charming cartoon style that simply looks fantastic, and complements the chaotic action perfectly. Indeed, things do get chaotic. Guns, Gore and Cannoli has no qualms with throwing hosts of zombies (not to mention living mobsters and soldiers) your way. The number of enemies you’ll face is only compounded when you have friends alongside you. In a brilliant move, the game features up to four-player local co-op - a feature that brings the game in line with some of the best side-scrolling games out there.
Without a doubt, the game is naturally more enjoyable with friends, purely because the game is built in such a way that it’s easy to be funny while playing. There’s typically just enough going on on-screen to see what antics your friends are getting up to - often with amusing results. Saying that, there are moments when it can be a little tricky to see where your character is amongst the mass of baddies and broken scenery. Yet often those moments provide even more hilarity than when things are under control. This communal humour is exactly what you want from a game of this nature; if you’re looking for a game to play with your mates for a few hours of fun, then this is a very safe bet.
Not that Guns, Gore and Cannoli is lacking when you’re on your own. It’s still a great run-and-gun shooter, by all accounts. There’s a fairly large selection of satisfying weaponry on offer, and plenty of different enemy types to keep combat fresh. Then there are a few boss fights to break up the pace, not to mention a few different difficulty levels that you’ll probably be tempted to try after your first run through. Actually, you almost definitely will want to run through it again if you want your money’s worth. At only around 3-4 hours long, it’s very much on the short side. But given the cheap price, and quality of the product, it’s definitely worth that investment.
Guns, Gore and Cannoli is a perfect example of a safe game. It’s certainly not revolutionary in any aspect, but what it tries to do, it does very well. A fun, quirky art style? Check. Enjoyable mechanics and satisfying animations? Check. Four-player co-op? Check. It’s difficult to give the game an especially high score, no matter how much I enjoyed it, but rest assured that if you’re looking for a small title to fill some time with friends - or you’re a fan of the genre as a whole - then it’s well worth a look.
Guns, Gore & Cannoli (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
A fun, quirky art style? Check. Enjoyable mechanics and satisfying animations? Check. Four-player co-op? Check. It’s difficult to give the game an especially high score, no matter how much I enjoyed it, but rest assured that if you’re looking for a small title to fill some time with friends - or you’re a fan of the genre as a whole - then it’s well worth a look.