When I was younger, side-scrolling beat-em-up’s were awesome. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Xmen, Power Rangers… everyone had a game were the entire premise was smashing a few buttons and watching your favorite heroes annihilate the waves of goons coming at them. But then we evolved in game design and things became a bit more complex. Arson & Plunder aims to bring back that nostalgic feeling from my childhood with a little twist. Is it enough to warrant getting a copy of your own? let’s see.
Arson & Plunder: PC
Developer: Chainsaw Syndicate
Publisher: Headup Games
Release Date: 25 September 2015
Price: £4.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Developer/Publisher]
Arson & Plunder, from developer Chainsaw Syndicate, opens on a few orcs fighting with their mortal enemies, the elves.But when humans arrive, they ignore their squabbles to face the oncoming threat. Sort of. As both Plunder the orc and Arson the elf race for the mystical stone to transport them into the kingdom of the humans, a cruel twist of fate forces them to share the same body and battle their common foe together.
The controls are explained well, but seeing as there are relatively few things you can actually do, this isn’t an impressive feat. Basically you’ll spam one button over and over while pointing your character toward the enemies and every so often you’ll hit a different button to execute a powerful move and knock everyone out. To say it’s simplistic is an understatement; the first level showcases all that the game has to offer, but you’ll be forced to relive the encounter through five gruelling chapters rife with inane dialogue full of grammatical errors and stock phrases uttered by the two leading characters.
In their attempt to deliver a throwback to the 90’s, I’d say Chainsaw Syndicate delivers. But it captures all the worst of those childhood titles of mine while adding nothing to keep it fresh. The gameplay is smooth though and, for what it is, Arson & Plunder is an alright experience. Just don’t go into it expecting a new take on a old classic.