“Spaghetti Western” and “hip hop” are difficult phrases to imagine sharing a sentence, let alone see come together in a video game, but Luckslinger’s unusual combination may just be the fortunate one.
The protagonist, who’s personified as “you,” the player, is a gun-slinging cowboy with a duck sidekick. He starts out by journeying through a cave where a dying man gives him a Luckcharm. The magical bracelet has luck charges stored in it. While Luckslinger is very much a 2D platformer with shooting elements, this is literally one where, upon falling into a pit, you can truly say “I got unlucky!”
Luck plays an integral part in combat and platforming. Whenever something bad is about to occur, the screen briefly flashes red — suddenly the stone upon which you stood begins to fall, or a hurtful object descends from the sky. But luck is a double-sided coin (and you can actually throw a coin to see if you get heads or tails with a press of the button. It’s yet to be revealed how this will play out, though); when Lady Fortune smiles on the hero, he can be saved from falling into a pit, bullets miraculously dodge him, and other dangers just seem to have no effect. Since combat is frequent, against either desert animals or rogue cowboys, luck helps even when reloading the six-barrel revolver.
The demo shows a good amount of gameplay and plays a few hip hop tracks, which work surprisingly well. You get to a town which has a hopeless, drunk sheriff and something of a home base, and then venture off to capture the first important criminal. The story has you capturing criminals who stole other Luckcharms from the previously prosperous cowboy town. The studio, Duckbridge, has two members and an outside sound designer. The hip hop tracks are actually crowd-sourced, and the developers invite submissions to add to the game’s soundtrack.
Duckbridge started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, asking for donations to fuel the development of the game. Mainly, the creators want to transition from Unity Free to Unity Pro to improve physics, performance, and use better plugins. Stretch goals include local multiplayer, Time Attack and Hardcore modes. You can also vote for Luckslinger on Steam Greenlight.
Feeling lucky? Give the demo a try to get acquainted with the wild western coupled with hip hop tracks and luck mechanics.