Prison Run and Gun was a game I discovered because of an IndieDB giveaway, and I kept an eye on it since then, waiting for the right moment to play it. Considering it currently is on sale (60% off), I decided to finally try it.
Something that I find a bit weird is the way the game is introduced: the official description makes you think that it's an independent expansion of another title called Hot Guns, and it's stated that if you have purchased this other game, you will get Prison Run and Gun automatically for free. However, if you check the store page of this second game you'll find out it's in Early Access. Also, don't expect some kind of interaction between the stories of both games, simply because... there isn't any kind of story: you're only a prisoner who needs to escape from prison, and that is everything you need to know.
Regarding the graphics, the game uses a simple pixelated style with a yellowish colour palette, which is very nice and fitting. Unlike other platformers, you won't have trouble telling the difference between the background and the actual places and objects you will need to interact with. The only small exceptions are one kind of switches and a dark type of blocks that you need to shoot, but once you see them, starting from that point you will begin to notice them immediately. Plus, I have to remark the quality of the explosions: they are as spectacular as they are dangerous, and blowing things up is truly satisfying.
Another highlight are the animations, which are incredibly fluid. I have to mention one particular enemy, who resembles the Manhacks from Half Life 2, that is completely adorable because of how well animated it is. As for the "living" characters the developer used ragdolls, so expect to see some funny deaths often. They don't affect the performance at all, and in general the game is nicely optimized, because I didn't get a single case of stuttering, even in my 5 year old PC.
And here is when the second problem appears: although the keys aren't hard to spot, some of them are incredibly hard to reach. The worst nightmare in this sense is Level 20, where to get that key you not only need to learn a technique that isn't obvious at all, but also you need to repeat it several times for this level, and even worse, sometimes despite the fact you do all things right it isn't triggered. I must've spent like one hour trying to achieve that horrific section; I didn't get mad or rage-quit, but all the fun and satisfaction I had with the game until that moment simply disappeared. It wasn't fun, at all. As a good news, though, once you beat that part nothing will stop you from finishing the game. Don't expect a great ending, but the most important thing is that you'll have all the way paved to get all the achievements, and that is something so rewarding that you'll immediately forget the bitterness and frustration of that particular section. If by any chance you check the Achievements section of the game, now you'll understand why only 1% of players were able to get them.
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One final note: the game will provide you three Trading Cards. I always prefer to sell them, but for this one I strongly recommend you to do the same, since at the moment they have more value than the average, so you'll recover approximately one third of your already cheap purchase.
Steam Store page: Prison Run and Gun
About the game (Official)
Prison Run and Gun is a retro puzzle platformer with modern gameplay and mechanics.
The recent events in a state prison, involving Jake from Hot Guns Team was a perfect moment for some prisoners to escape - you are one of them. Use your skills and the guns to break through 30 sections standing between you and the freedom!