Nintendo Entertainment System: Gun.Smoke – Review
Follow Genre: Top down shooter
Developer: CAPCOM
Publisher: CAPCOM
Platform: NES

Nintendo Entertainment System: Gun.Smoke – Review

Site Score
Good: Top down shooter with a twist
Bad: Repetitive
User Score
(4 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (4 votes cast)

Gun.Smoke was released in 1988 for the Nintendo Entertainment System and was developed by Capcom. The game was originally a 1985 Arcade game and was then released on the NES, which created room for new options and improvements. Let’s take a closer look at this top-down shooter with a wild, wild twist.



The NES version of this game received its own storyline, a simple one, but still its own. The year is 1849 and the law has been killed by the Wingates family in the town of Hicksville, until you, Billy, comes around to clear the town of the evil forces. (Probably the most badass sentence you’ll ever read, with the word Hicksville in it.) They kept the story simple which works for a western themed, top-down shooter game.

When it comes to the animations of the game, the intro isn’t really that bad but the ending scene is simple a ‘The End’ message, which is quite dissapointing knowing you have to complete the game 3 times to actually receive the end ‘movie’.



As far as the Nintendo Entertainment System went, Capcom used the capacity of the system to make a good looking game for the time it was released in. The Environments look colorful and detailed. There are enough different characters you have to fight with and they look nicely made for a NES game. There aren’t that many remarks when it comes to the appearance of the game.


Every stage in the game had it’s own theme song,  which were decently composed and weren’t to repetitive when playing through the game. The sound effects themselves weren’t too shabby either, except for the horrible shop menu theme/sound effect. I doubt many players of the game will even know if this was supposed to be a tune or an attack on your brain. The sound is comparable with a neutered Pac-Man figure trying to please Miss Pac-Man. Yet all in all the game supplied us with a decent soundtrack.



The game consists out of 6 stages each with their own end boss. (Note: the stages scroll by automatically, as with most top-down shooting games) Fighting the end boss can only be done when you have saved up enough money, by defeating foes, and then unlocking the wanted poster in one of the shops you’ll pass on your way. To reach the real ending you actually have to complete playthroughs in a row.

Controlling your character goes quite easily, you simply have to dodge incoming projectiles and enemies and fire back at them. Your character is able to fire in 3 directions: Left, right and to the front. With the limited buttons on the NES-controller this means that the B-button fires left, the A-button fires right and pressing both of them together makes you fire in front of your character. An easy yet decent way of aiming at your enemies without having to use the D-pad to turn (which in this game is actually a great thing because you can ‘easily’ keep dodging your enemies like this).

During your massive killing spree of baddies in Hicksville you will find money, equipment and an occassional enemy-killing power-up in barrels or shops. Your character is able to buy 4 different weapons, a bomb type and a horse for protection. When you have enough money the horse really comes in handy knowing it can resist 3 hits before dying, while you can only take 1 hit. The weapons can be useful aswell to increase your firing speed or damage. Saving up your ammo of your bought weapons for the bosses is a fairly good idea.

Even though the game takes place in Hicksville, you won’t be fighting off a mob of angry banjo-players, but you will encounter villains with mohawks, native Americans who try to jump at you (yes seriously) and even ninjas. Each having their own attack.

Tip: playing the game with the NES ADVANTAGE is a lot smoother because of it’s turbo function. Normally the game requires you to press rapidly to fire quickly. Playing with the NES ADVANTAGE really helps against those nasty hand cramps.


Gun.Smoke has been released several times on Capcom collection discs, yet if you have the chance to get your hands on the original one for a fair price, don’t hesitate to do so. This top down shooter with a twist, is still a competitor for more recent games in the genre.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Nintendo Entertainment System: Gun.Smoke - Review, 8.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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