I don’t know about you, but I could play the Metal Slug series for the rest of eternity. The games are timeless run & gun shooters featuring some of the best pixel art to ever grace a 16-bit arcade screen.
But only playing Metal Slug would be like only eating tacos every day. Sure, you’re consuming the pinnacle of food, but a little variety in your diet never hurt anyone and will make you a more interesting person. Also, think about what you’re doing to your waistline.
So, where does one go these days when they need an injection of some old fashioned arcade run & gun action? We’ve got a few suggestions to keep your sights on.
While the original Contra is a classic, it’s hard to deny the series was really rocking it during the 16-bit era. The double strike of Contra 3: Alien Wars for the Super Nintendo and Contra: Hard Corps for the Genesis offered up some unforgettable experiences packed with that classic ‘90s attitude.
The team at JoyMasher picks up the torch where Konami left it all those years ago and runs with it in Blazing Chrome. They’re delivering some impactful run & gun, spiced with that delicious ‘tude. It has everything you’ve come to expect from the genre: fast-paced gameplay, an arsenal of cool weapons, and some deliciously retro pixel-art.
From Russia with love, Iron Meat is delivered by Ivan Suvorov and comes with a heaping helping of sidescrolling violence. Taking place in a cyberpunk hellscape, Iron Meat bills itself as a grindhouse gunner, bringing with it all the delicious gore that title entails.
Currently still in the development phase, a demo of Iron Meat is available for you to taste test. It’s currently single-player only, but couch co-op is planned for the future.
Huntdown is an absolute killer time. Developed by Easy Trigger Games, this run & gun hits the cyberpunk streets to deliver explosive action. A little bit of Contra and a dash of Gunstar Heroes makes this game a gem too tantalizing to not dig up. It’s no wonder it was critically acclaimed at release!
With co-op action, 20 levels, 3 playable characters and a whole heap of baddies, this game is looking like non-stop action. It certainly helps that its arcade inspired pixel-art graphics are gorgeous and the style is just dripping with personality.
Bite The Bullet
Fresh off the grill and ready for your thumbs, Bite the Bullet is Mega Cat Studios’ very own love letter to the run & gun genre. Taking the venerable action gameplay and giving it a twist with some Rogue elements, a smattering of RPG elements, and a whole lot of gluttony, Bite the Bullet is the world’s very first run & gun & eat.
You heard right, don’t just gun down those zombies -- put them in your belly! Chomp down on everything you slay; from robots to unimaginable monstrosities. What will that do to your waistline? Who cares! It’s nutrients! Devour everything in sight.
Bite the Bullet is now available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
Yet the run & gun genre is a vast, deep ocean and new drops are falling into it every day. We’re fans, too! Got any suggestions for us? We’d be interested to hear!