Gunpoint is a point and click stealth-based puzzle game created by indie developer Tom Francis. In this game, you play as private detective Richard Conway who is tasked with infiltrating various high-security buildings to fulfill assignments from your clients and to unravel a conspiracy centered around the murder of a woman named Selena. The game was released worldwide on June 3rd, 2013 and was received positively by critics, receiving an 83/100 rating upon release by Metacritic.
While the graphics are a simplistic pixel style, this game doesn’t need perfectly rendered 3D graphics to be great. Besides boasting a beautiful soundtrack inspired by classic noir, the story (which is completely optional for those who prefer to get right into gameplay) is full of witty dialogue and subtle nods to the cliches of the genre. With multiple dialogue options to choose from, you get to see several sides of Detective Conway without affecting the main storyline or gameplay. (Personally, I love playing him as a snarky bugger, but maybe that’s just me!)
On the topic of the gameplay, it’s beautiful in its simplicity. There’s no battles or boss fights – everyone dies in one hit, including you. You’re rated by your time, noise levels, amount of violence and how many people saw you, with the ideal score in each of these being as low as possible.
The main dynamic in Gunpoint is hacking the security devices in each level using your Crosslink. By rewiring the devices, you could have a light switch activate a trapdoor to disable a guard, or you could simply turn off the lights and sneak up on him. The true beauty in the game is that there is no single solution to the puzzle. Depending on your play-style, you could play fast and loose or cautious and strategically. This also adds to the replayability of the game, as you can always try to beat your best time or attempt a different solution. The game autosaves every few seconds so there is no frustration from having to completely restart a level because of one wrong move.
The biggest downside to Gunpoint is its short campaign, since a single run of the game can be completed in around three hours. This is somewhat remedied through its replayability factor and level editor, but it still leaves you wanting for a bit more. That being said, I still find it to be an incredibly worthwhile play considering its low price, and I’d definitely recommend it to any fans of stealth or puzzle games.
Pros: Beautiful soundtrack, witty dialogue, anti-frustration features, includes colorblind mode, and low price.
Cons: Short length and simplistic graphics.