Thunderflash – Review
Follow Genre: Run and Gun, Arcade
Developer: SEEP
Publisher: SEEP
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Thunderflash – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Authentic experience
Bad: Hitboxes, Unavoidable damage
User Score
9.5
(6 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (6 votes cast)

Over the years we’ve featured many of SEEP’s retro-inspired gaming projects on the site. The developer who self-publishes his work prides itself on creating old school experiences, and the company always tries to replicate another retro experience. They have had side-scrollers, platformers and other games, and this time we get Thunderflash, a game that is designed for co-op play, in the manner of Ikari Warriors, Commando and Heavy Barrel. We also noticed a bit of Gun.Smoke in the design if we had to be completely honest. We were ready to dive into this adventure to save the (digital) world.

Story

You are thrown in the war-torn Kashmir to dispose of the two insurgents leading the occupation. There is not that much more to go on, and you simply need a reason to be there. The game doesn’t really build further on the story, but that’s not a necessity for a game such as this.

Graphics

The entire game sports a pixilated look, which is perfect for a retro-inspired game. The company has a lot of experience in this look and this is noticeable by several of the smaller details. Each of the different stages has its own theme, and while many enemies stay the same, we noticed small changes in the uniforms of the grunts. The snow level provides thicker clothing options, while sometimes your own character runs around topless. The different scrolling options all look nice, the small details such as your character portrait looking bloodier as you take more damage are also a nice touch. Overall the design is spot-on for a game such as this.

Sound

Thunderflash has a real retro-inspired sound design. The music is upbeat, and while it can be repetitive, it doesn’t get bothersome at all. You’ll have a very upbeat midi soundtrack blasting through the speakers, and the sound effects are simple but they suffice. You’ll also get a female voice shouting several words at you when you pick up power-ups, health items or even score multipliers.

Gameplay

Thunderflash is a real run and gun arcade title. The game will force you to play through five different levels in the normal mode, in order to beat the final boss. You’ll either scroll upwards or sideways, blasting your gun at a lot of different enemies. The upward scrolling sections are almost always the hardest, as some enemies tend to fire at you the second they come into the frame, making some attacks very hard to dodge.

The game speaks for itself in terms of what you have to do, namely gun everything in sight until only a small heap of ash remains. There’s a certain difficulty to overcome, and some parts feel a bit unfair. While you can gun down everything you see, things like mines often force you to take damage, as in some scenarios you cannot move quickly enough to bypass the explosion. For example, during the fourth boss level, there is also a segment that the boss throws giant boulders with spikes at you, and sometimes you have to bypass three in a row, for which your character moves too slowly. Nonetheless, while most of the enemies can be killed with a certain skill, there are a few mishaps now and then. The first two times you fail, you also get extra credits, making it easier to beat the game.

The game is also fun to be played in co-op mode, but then the camera doesn’t always properly scroll. When playing single-player you can make the level scroll easily, properly viewing the enemies that are next, but when you are playing with another player, more than often the camera scrolls a lot slower, that you almost run into new foes as you go.

Other than the normal arcade mode there is the boss rush mode, which speaks for itself, and a survival mode in which you have to survive as long as possible in an arena. In the latter, you can also select which rendition of the character you want. You can opt for the standard version of Rock or Stan, but also their snow and commando version, each having slightly different stats. While the survival mode may only be a bonus for a game such as this, the different options and stats show that the game was developed with a certain care.

Conclusion

Thunderflash is a proper homage to old school NES and SNES titles, which can only be recommended if you want a proper experience like this on your modern PC, that can also be played with a buddy. The game might have a few flaws in terms of hitboxes and unavoidable damage, it’s still an arcade delight to plow through, alone or in co-op.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Thunderflash - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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