Kill the baddies, save the girls.
What I really look for, when I dive into the Xbox Live Indie channel to try out the new entries, are games that are fun right out of the gate. More importantly, I’m looking for a game that can suck me in and get me hooked. Johnny Carnage fits this bill perfectly; there’s no tutorial, the controls are simple, the visuals are eye-catching and that action hits you right away. If you like 2D shooters, platformers, score attack games or any combination of the above then Johnny Carnage will be the best dollar you’ve spent all week.
Since the Evil Skeletons from Mars have been stealing all the girls, and freezing them in blocks of ice, Johnny Carnage must take up arms to smash the skeletons and save the girls. This is the setup, if you really needed one, that is the basis for a challenging 2D shooter that pits you against hordes of enemies, as well as an ever-ticking clock.
When you take control of Johnny Carnage you’ll be dropped in a random level with the objective to rescue five girls. Each level will be littered with doors that spawn evil skeletons periodically, among other things that can be used to Johnny’s advantage. The first are turrets, which cost money to activate and will blast any enemies within their range. The second are gun vending machines where you’ll be able to purchase temporary upgrades to your arsenal.
What makes Johnny Carnage so addictive is that the only stat you’ll really have to worry about is the clock. Time is always counting down but you can increase the number of seconds remaining by rescuing girls. Keeping time on the clock is a constant struggle as it will also act as your health meter. Each time an enemy damages Johnny will knock a few seconds off of your time.
Building your clock is the key to advancing on to the next room, and as more monsters spawn as time goes on you’ll have to plan your moves. See, you can exit the level, and head to the next, as soon as you rescue five girls, but there are ten available in each level. Do you cut your losses and head for the door, or gamble on your rescuing skills to nab all ten? Since dying will end your game, and start you off again at room one, you’ll have to choose. If you ask me though, anyone with a little honor and guts will have to rescue all ten. I mean, what kind of a hero are you anyway?
Johnny Carnage is the kind of game that will have you swearing this is the last round you’ll play, just before you start a new round. An immediately addictive experience, for only a dollar? How could that go wrong.
Developed By: Milkstone Studios
Price: 80 MS Points