Aug 14, 2013
A Thug in Time is a fun dual-stick shooter from Destructamobile. In this one, time is clearly of the essence. Literally.
The gameplay covers four distinct time periods, modern day New York, Vikings time, prohibition era Chicago and, thankfully, so thankfully, the Wild West. The hero, Kai is tasked with collecting crystals hidden in these time periods so as to save the earth from its fictional creators who have returned to destroy it.
To make it happen, the dual controls come into play. The left one controls lateral movement, and the other does both rotational movement (spinning) and shooting. With baddies coming in seemingly endless waves, the object is to dispatch as many enemies as possible without succumbing to them, while collecting all collectibles. Now, it does sound simple enough; there’s even an arrow that helps with navigation. The game does provide a good challenge, as the swarming enemy pieces don’t come from the same angle. They also are not restricted by some boundaries that affect the protagonist, like fences; thus quick shooting and rotations are needed to survive.
Beyond keeping the enemies at bay, Kai also has to collect crystals. This is accomplished by exploring, following the directions, using weaponry to gain access to locked places and finding stuff.
The top-down viewed are nice, and the graphics are rich. The period artwork is fun without being overpowering, and the animations mostly fit the game. There is a lot of dark scenery, and the buildings that “opened” when obstructing the view of our protagonist take a bit of getting used to, but overall here is little to dislike about the game graphically. Cue the sensitive music: I especially like the fact that there are no gruesome death drops. I hate to sound, well, paternal, but it was refreshing to see virtual death not overdone. The use of period styles is the game’s crowning achievement, I think. The cutscenes providing the storyline are masterfully done, and even weather patterns looked good.
The game will be appealing because of its innate simplicity and breadth of gameplay. The action is constant, and this game still manages to look good while keeping busy.