Slap Bass Shmup
Come 2025, I will not be surprised if retro publisher Hamster still has at least 800 further shmups to deliver to its fans on a weekly basis. At least it’s a great genre to be inundated with, despite the somewhat repetitive nature of the titles’ design. Anyway, this week sees the return of NMK blaster Gunnail.
Released in arcades back in 1992 and never ported to any home platforms, Gunnail is a vertically scrolling shmup taken from the wild mid-era of the genre. This is a time where shmups were progressing from the side-scrolling R-Types of yore but hadn’t quite reached the twitch-inducing realm of bullet-hell just yet. It is a time when incredibly large projectiles, screen-rocking smart bombs, and enormous bosses were the order of the day, and Gunnail has all of the above to spare.
One or two players blast their way through an industrial sci-fi universe, powering up drones in order to reach maximum firepower capacity. Gunnail‘s gimmick lies in its shield system, which multiplies the player’s score in correlation to how many times they have been struck by enemy attacks. So while one hit might not be enough to put you down, those looking to top the leaderboards while be pushing for perfect runs. All of this action is scored with a surprisingly funky, slap-bass-heavy soundtrack.
Gunnail is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8. Curious shmuppers can check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber arronmunro.