Gunnail is a vertically scrolling shmup game that was originally produced by NMK/Tecmo in 1992 and released on arcade machines. After never receiving a home console port for 30 years, publisher Hamster has now brought the game to modern systems as part of its Arcade Archives series.
The game has a great art style, with a futuristic, sci-fi, industrial vibe filled with detailed backdrops and interesting boss designs. You can play alone or with a friend to work your way through the levels, picking up power ups to increase your firepower as you go! The game only takes around 20 minutes to get through from start to finish depending on your difficulty level, but as with all arcade games of its time its about the high score so there is tons of fun and replayability to be had.
The game features a really rocking soundtrack, full of energy and beat that really add to the atmosphere and fit nicely with the aesthetic of the game. I’m a sucker for old school arcade soundtracks and this one, while not being the most memorable, definitely did not disappoint!
The games main unique feature is called the multiple shield system, this basically means you will get a higher score depending on how many hits you have taken. The fewer shields you have, the bigger the score. This leaves you running the risk of dying easier if you really want the big numbers which is a nice addition to keep players coming back for more runs!
As with previous releases in the Arcade Archives series you will be able to make changes to the settings such as difficulty levels (always nice to see in shmups!) as well as having multiple display options to make the game appear as if it was being played on a 30 year old arcade! The game also features a worldwide high score board for any of you ultra competitive players out there!
Arcade Archives Gunnail is a fantastic vertical schmup that brings tons of action with giant bosses and huge weapons without going into full bullet hell territory. Coupled in with the quality of life improvements found in the Arcade Archives series, this game still holds up and is a blast to play today as it was 30 years ago!
TOTAL SCORE: 8/10
Arcade Archives Gunnail is available right now on Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 consoles and is priced at £5.79. We played the game on Nintendo Switch for this review. A copy of the game was provided for this article. Huge thanks for that.