Redneck Skeet Shooting, Out now on Nintendo Switch ($4.99/£4.49) and mobile (free, ad-supported)

There’s a clear mobile game vibe to Redneck Skeet Shooting. This shouldn’t be entirely surprising, given that it was indeed originally released on mobile in 2016 – but the fact that so little has changed in the transition is more than a little disappointing.

Not that the original is some sort of forgotten or hidden gem; it’s just a shame that – better controls aside, as you’d expect with more than just a touchscreen available on Switch – there’s been no attempt to improve or add to the experience whatsoever.

Redneck Skeet Shooting casts you as Bill (according to the main menu anyway – the character select screen calls him Billy), a simple guy who seems to want nothing more than to remain fixed on a spot on the left side of the screen and shoot random stuff being fired out of a petrol (or gas, for my American readers) driven contraption. You get 60 seconds to get the highest score possible, with points converting into coins to be spent on new levels (complete with new objects to shoot), new weapons and even a new Bill in camo gear (which magically increases the damage done by his current weapon by 20%).

It seems that someone is trying to sabotage Bill’s pastime, however – at random intervals, dynamite will be spat out of the contraption and, if shot, will explode and end the level. The level ends at 60 seconds anyway (which is how long it takes for the contraption’s fuel to run out) – and I haven’t discovered any way of increasing the time limit.

Beyond filling in the gallery of random objects that you’ve shot – with many being stage-specific – and saving up for more levels, weapons or the extra character option, there’s nothing else to actually aim for. The in-game items and levels are all incredibly overpriced – clearly a hangover from the game’s mobile origins – it’s ad-supported in its original format, and watching an ad gives you limited time bonuses which help to make the grind, well…less grindy. On the Switch, even saving up for a weapon or a level is a painfully repetitive grind. The weapons all have joke names (‘Ussy’ instead of ‘Uzi’ or ‘Desert Pigeon’ instead of ‘Desert Eagle’, for example); this doesn’t alleviate the boredom of the grind, however.

Encouragingly, there’s some holding text on some of the menu screens which promises more content coming soon. Or at least, that would be encouraging if the same text promising further content didn’t also appear on the mobile version, which – as mentioned above – has been out since 2016. There’s also some terrible spelling errors on the menus – ‘Forrest’, rather than ‘Forest’, appearing twice, just as a single example.

I have yet to mention the bizarre shooting mechanic; you can aim the weapon, but Bill/Billy is determined to aim at the ground and you’ll end up forever wrestling with trying to get into the right position. Though ammo is unlimited – which means you may think it’s a good idea to fire indiscriminately in the hope of hitting something – there’s also the problem of the dynamite that’s randomly spat out into the air; you’ll often hit this accidentally too, forcing a restart.

Good points? The music is surprisingly decent. Each level is at least fairly distinct, with its own selection of random, sometimes fiery, objects to discover and shoot. There’s a nice variety of objects to shoot overall and powering up your weapon is ultimately satisfying  – particularly when you’re finally able to rid yourself of the terribly weak weapon you start with (though it’s clear that saving up the cash to get to that stage isn’t satisfying in itself).

Despite those positives, the frustratingly limited and repetitive gameplay – along with the interminable grind made necessary only by hugely overpriced in-game items – makes Redneck Skeet Shooting a game that I can’t recommend, unfortunately. There’s nothing wrong with mobile game ports per se – some that I’ve played have translated well to the Switch – but there’s so little of substance and such a frustrating single game mechanic (with Bill/Billy forever drooping his weapon downwards) here, with little else to bolster the experience. It’s far from the worst game I’ve played on Switch (hello, Car Trader and Go Fishing 3D!), but it’s definitely hanging around at the bottom of the swamp.

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3 Comments »

  1. Hmmm not sure about this one, looks more of a game I’d play online as a couple of mins gap filler while waiting on another game to download. Thanks for the insight on it though, always a good read mate 😉

    Like

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