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8Days is an bit-style, top-down, twin-stick shooter developed by Santa Clara Studios. It tells the story of Lola “Wasp” and Mike “Ghost”, two mercenaries working for the company G.O.D. (Gold, Oil, and Diamonds, Inc) in a world that is controlled by evil forces for as long as anyone can remember. They are tasked with fighting the conflict head-on and trying to put a stop to it. It is your job to help them succeed in their mission. The game starts you smack dab in the middle of war-torn Vietnam and tasks you with using your cunning wits to take down your foes. Armed with nothing, you must scavenge weapons from enemies or the occasional weapons cache. The gameplay mechanics are rather simplistic as you traverse the maze-like environment, killing waves of enemies, searching for weapons or ammo, and just trying to survive. Ammo is usually easy to come by as most of the combatants that you will be facing use the same couple weapons. Each mercenary can carry two weapons at the same time allowing you to choose the type of style you want to play. Like long range? Go with an assault rifle, or maybe you are a more up close and personal kind of guy, then there is a shotgun that is ripe for the picking. Fancy hidden secrets? If so, you are in luck, as each chapter contains various hidden secrets in order to fulfill every collector’s dream. The endless variation of weapon selection and way to maneuver the chapters allow different playthroughs every time. 8Days features five different chapters with all sorts of environments that you can tackle with a friend in local co-op or flying solo if that is your style.
When playing 8Days, you are punched in the face with a fist full of nostalgia. The 8-Bit style pairs perfectly with the dual-stick control and make you feel like you are a back in the retro days. The visuals are very similar to the style of Party Hard or Hotline Miami and similar titles, it works perfectly. The soundtrack is rather good as well. There is not a bunch of dialogue in the game, but the sounds and music that play during cutscenes or throughout gameplay are rather good. Not my favorite, but still good nonetheless; however, the visuals are most certainly the better of the two features.
While playing through 8Days, I experienced something that I was not expecting. The game is rather difficult and can be quite hard to get through a few sections. I personally got stuck on a section in chapter two for a while and it was frustrating. I would go through a few parts of the maze then get killed and then have to restart the section. I noticed some of the stages were a little unforgiving with their checkpoints, but taking it slow and easy will lead you to eventually overcome the issues. I will emphasize that this is a game that you need to take your time on. Your character can only take three shots before death and it only regenerates when you pick up a health pack or find some food.
8Days is a fun game that has a difficult side to it. It is priced at $10 USD and I could not imagine it being priced any lower, there is a full package in this indie game and I feel like it deserves that much. The difficulty adds to its retro feel and makes this title a great game for anyone wanting a modern game with a retro-inspired aspect.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 9/10
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