There was a period in the late 2000s and early 2010s where browser gaming was really taking off. It was a good time for all; developers could make money if they teamed up with a host like Kongregate while gamers got to check out some surprisingly solid games. No good time lasts forever, though, and through a combination of factors (the rise of Unity’s popularity, Steam opening the floodgates, a push toward “everyone can make games” that resulted in a saturated indie market) browser games have largely fallen by the wayside.
And that’s why you’re you’re paying $15 for Gunhouse on the Switch instead of checking it out on Nitrome or whatever.
This is a simple but interesting hybrid of the puzzle and tower defense genres. You’ve got the titular Gunhouse, a house with guns sticking out of it, on the right side of the screen. Your job initially is to clear blocks from a puzzle board in the middle of the house by combining them to make larger blocks, then pushing them off the side of the board. Doing so creates ammo to load the guns attached to the house as well as powering your special attacks.
Every twenty seconds or so, the gameplay switches to tower defense where you’ll have to use your guns to hold off waves of baddies as they try to invade the Gunhouse. It’s a cute idea that wears out its welcome fairly quickly; the experience doesn’t change much and your interaction with the game is limited to the above.
That’s not the end of the world, though; if you want something simple to play then Gunhouse is a decent choice. It also looks and sounds great, with the graffiti-inspired art style practically leaping off the screen. Control-wise, it’s fortunate that you can use the Switch’s touchscreen to play, as attempting to get anything done using button controls isn’t an optimal experience. This one’s definitely made for handheld mode.
Gunhouse would have made for an unquestionably solid browser game back in those earlier, happier times when Flash ruled the roost. As it stands, it’s perfectly at home on the Switch and well-served by the hybrid console’s touchscreen controls. $15 might be pushing it a little, but puzzle fans are likely to get enough value for their money.