All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One



Score: 88%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.
Developer: Q Entertainment
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Arcade/ Rhythm/ Board Games

Graphics & Sound:

The DS is a perfect platform for puzzle games. In a genre where graphics don't count nearly as much as gameplay, there will always be a place for Nintendo's portable. Gunpey actually has some good visuals with a very creative style. The music is excellent as well - the theme of the game is a "music puzzle" experience. What this means in practice is that you clear puzzles that look and sound really cool. Not only is there nice background music, but the actions you take during the puzzle are reflected as notes and tones in the soundtrack. Don't be surprised if you start to get into a groove. Each tap of the screen results in a new shape and a new sound. The final outcome when you clear a line is to show a solid color line and then you can rapidly connect another line to set off a new color that reflects your "power combo." The backdrop visuals change for each location and character, with funny names like "Sow Paulo" for a festive pig's home planet. I loved the weird combination of cowboy imagery with spaceships and animals dressed up in funny clothes.


Gunpey is a hard one to grasp at first. I came expecting the color matching or shape/block stacking games that we have seen lots of over the years. The actual style of play here involves several columns that rise gradually and contain lines of different types. Think of the lines as blocks that you can move up and down but not side to side. And you can't rotate the blocks. So what you look for are patterns across all columns that connect blocks. If you connect blocks left to right, you will clear those blocks. You can then find combos in connecting other horizontal lines that feed into or cross the lines you created. Multiple column clearing will give a better score and unleash some devastating attacks on opponents.

That's right: opponents. Gunpey is fundamentally a competitive game although there is a nice single player mode. When you go into the Frontier Mode, you will face off against competitors and open up new gaming arenas. There is a multiplayer option when you get tired of the CPU opponent. There is a system for doing timed attacks against levels and different stage clearing sessions. The split screen is nice, but you can also choose to play with a different session on each screen. The flipping back and forth makes for some crazy, frantic gameplay. Fun if you know what you're doing. The best way to "get" Gunpey is to just jump in and play. It will be a new experience but we would have said the same thing about lots of games that are classics now.

As add-ons or extras there are two neat little additions to Gunpey. One is an honest-to-goodness music sequencer complete with beats you can save and load. You can even map out notes and rhythms on a matrix and create home-grown beats. It doesn't seem like these are playable in the main game modes, which would have been cooler. There is another quirky add-on that features G-Note, a little character who appears during the game and prances around the screen. If you win in competitions, you'll see that G-Note learns new moves. The extra feature is a little mode that lets you put G-Note through his paces. Cute.


It can be hard to figure out a system to master Gunpey. Unlike Tetris or others where the rules and combinations are fairly simple, there are lots of combinations and ways of clearing lines in Gunpey. In a competitive situation, it may make sense to focus on combos in order to confuse or throw off your competitor. Attack moves like "No Touch" will cause the opponent's screen to be unresponsive to the stylus. The lines keep moving up, but you can't move them to clear them. Definitely a challenge. Another strategy is just to clear as many lines as quickly as possible and try to max your score. Either way the mechanics of winning are probably a bit obscure because the gameplay style is new. A little practice will definitely make better, if not perfect.

Game Mechanics:

Navigating the in-game menus is simple, but requires a double-tap that took some getting used to. Learning the style of play is harder than controlling the lines. The touch screen lets you do some neat shifts of the lines and because the lines are small, I quickly noticed that my calibration needed to be adjusted. It is not often that other games require such precision touch and quick response. Gunpey will definitely show you how solid you are with the stylus. Setting up the wireless play was easy as pie, and there are options for control via the buttons if the stylus feels wrong. I did like how well the touch screen was integrated into everything from the music sequencer to the main game. It would have been nicer for the music sequencer to use slightly bigger controls. Trying to move notes and tones around was harder because of how much was packed into one screen. It isn't something you'll come back again and again for anyway, so no matter that this mode has some idiosyncrasies. Trust that the main game is well balanced, fun and easy to play. If you are a puzzle fan, you need to check out Gunpey.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

Windows Brain Quest DVD: Grades 1 - 3 Windows Brain Quest DVD: Grades 3 - 5

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated