Duck Game Review | (Nintendo Switch/PS4/PC)


It’s rare that I use stupid as a compliment
but that’s the best way I can describe Duck Game. It’s a stupidly entertaining party game that
doesn’t take itself seriously, only helping to raise its charm. With untitled goose game and duck hunt taken,
it’s no shock that all that was left to name this was Duck Game. In a way, it’s vague enough to not constrict
the gameplay you expect but straight to the point and I think it nails it perfectly. It all takes place in a destructive cyberpunk
like world where Ducks are soldiers. Duck Game’s content is divided into two sections,
single-player challenges and single-screen multiplayer. Let’s talk the single player content first. When you first boot up Duck Game, you’re
immediately in the game. It uses this interactive menu designed as
part of the game. You can move around your duck to different
parts of this science facility to navigate over the single player content, options, gameplay
records, and the level editor. It’s not a common design choice to see in
modern video games so it’s nice to see it with an indie like this. Walking into the single player content room,
everything is laid out like an old arcade, one where completing challenges earns you
tickets for prizes, or in this case, bizarre-looking hat add ons and gameplay modifiers. Modifiers can be anything from having moon
gravity for stages or starting off with a helmet for extra protection. Some of them are fun to mess with and only
make navigating some of the more challenging levels more chaotic. Hats, on the other hand, are just visual gags
that are vastly more entertaining than they sound. There’s plenty of pop culture gags here
that will make you chuckle every time. Jumping into the gameplay, there’s a handful
of different arcades to choose from, each with a different game mode. Target missions have you taking out all the
enemies in a stage as fast as you can. Variety zone has you using different weapons
and tools to navigate a stage. Lastly, there’s chainsaw racing, my personal
favorite. It’s here that you’re using a chainsaw’s
momentum to slide across the stage as you try to reach the finish line. Chainsaw racing alone is a phrase I never
thought I’d have to write in a review, it’s even wackier and more hilarious in practice. Those are just some of the arcades available
but there are a few others that are unlockable as you start to earn medals for each of the
previous arcades. While I enjoyed my time playing the single
play content, it ultimately came off as more of a distraction and a way to get a hold of
the controls. I found myself jumping into the challenges
while on bus rides where I could get a new high score with the 15 minutes I had to burn. The real enjoyment comes from the multiplayer
mode. Duck Game has couch multiplayer, local wireless
and online multiplayer. It plays a lot like Towerfall in the sense
that you’re after one hit kills with different kinds of weapons. You can set your own rules for each match
whether you’re playing offline or online for matchmaking. In my experience, match making online was
stable and surprisingly quick to find others online. Once in a match, you have a few seconds before
absurdity erupts. You have to grab a weapon randomly generated
on the stage and take out all the other enemy ducks. Part of the strategy that goes into these
quick action fights is how the weapons all operate differently. You’re never given an ammo count for each
weapon so you’re endlessly firing until you realize you’re out of bullets. Weapons also react differently. Shotguns, for example, have to be cocked right
after every shot, it’s not automatic like most games have accustomed you to. These matches are short bursts of disorderly
fun. They’re lasting appeal grows if you’re playing
offline with friends around you, it makes for a great time. Playing online with strangers or the solo
challenges are still amusing but don’t really have a lasting impression. There is a map editor built in the switch
version that lets you make your own battle arenas. I found this to be a good distraction as I
prepared for game nights with completely new stages. Ultimately Duck Game feels like a jack of
all trades but a master of none. I enjoy the couch multiplayer, it’s the strongest
feature it has going for it. Solo challenges, online matchmaking and the
map editor, all act as complements to the main feature. When I was playing, I found my attention to
it was short lived before my friends and I switched to another game. On the Switch for on the go commutes or breaking
it out at a lunch with friends, it’s a fantastic 10-15 minutes of mayhem that I keep coming
back to. Duck Game is incredibly simple when it comes
to its art style. It’s made to look like a retro game, almost
like a long lost Newgrounds animation. It’s that simplicity that adds to the humor
of all the destruction happening on screen. Seeing how each of the hats interact to your
duck letting out a quack, always puts a grin on my face. In the same way, one would laugh at octodad
looking like a mess as he walks around, the same energy exudes from Duck Game. Duck Game’s soundtrack sounds like it was
ripped out of an old Sega Genesis game, it’s awesome. The synth-rock behind a lot of the tunes in
Duck Game is just so darn catchy with steel mill street standing out as one of my personal
favorite tracks. They’re funky, grudge and goosebump-inducing. The added use of HD rumble on the Nintendo
Switch version for subtle weapon use is a great touch as well. With a game so simple in audio and visuals,
it’s the minor but noticeable touches like this that stand out. Duck Game is a marvelous party game that feels
like a compliment to the Nintendo Switch’s glowing library of couch party games. It doesn’t necessarily outshine the likes
of Towerfall, Overcooked or Mario Party but at its low price entry point, it’s a solid
addition. If you have all the other alternatives already
and are still eager for more, Duck Game is definitely worth taking a look at.

6 thoughts on “Duck Game Review | (Nintendo Switch/PS4/PC)

  1. Does Duck Game have crossplay between Steam and Switch?
    It didn't have crossplay between Steam and Discord (free game with Nitro) so answer's probably no
    Edit: Woah thank you for the gift! I grabbed the 1st code

  2. Thanks for posting this. I think I'll wait for it to go on sale though. I don't have wifi or the switch online subcription so co op play it's main gimmick will not apply to me. I think I will pick up shakedown hawaii tomor. I have waited years for that game and it is finally almost out on switch 😃👍👏💗

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