Spanish developer Iction Games wants to bring the 80s back to life with Mambo, a top-down arcade shooter newly arrived on Kickstarter. Inspired by retro classics such as Ikari Warriors, Commando, and (no surprises here) Rambo, the game hopes to raise €9,000 by Halloween. So, what exactly does Mambo bring to the table? If one can look past the game’s distinctive, but ugly art style for one moment (it’s hard, I know), then there’s actually more going on here than there might seem at first glance.
Here’s the quick sell: Mambo is an aerial shooter with multiple level paths, allowing for a variety of approaches. Players can go for the traditional run and gun route, shooting down enemies and blasting through walls, or opt for a stealthier approach that entails…well, it’s not quite clear yet, but let’s just take Iction’s word, for now. Even if it is rendered in fairly poor and convoluted English (‘Be careful, our hero is a bit clumsy and will interact with you during the battle’).
Destructible environments and ‘complex chain reactions’ that allow the player to kill enemies by, say, blowing up a line of barrels next to them, could very well add an interesting twist to each level playthrough, but to be honest, I’m not entirely convinced. Aside from the whole multiple-approach thing, Mambo reeks of unoriginality, and I don’t think that has anything to do with the game’s influences.
If you’re going to pitch an arcade shooter, you probably shouldn’t lean too heavily on features we’ve experienced in a thousand previous arcade shooters. Unfortunately, that seems to be Iction’s plan. The promise of jungle, desert, and arctic areas just isn’t going to cut it, nor is the allure of such inspired weapons as knives, grenades, machine guns and rocket launchers. Bullet-storm bosses? A little more interesting. Not enough for me to put down money on the project though. Not with that early-90s shareware look.
If you’re feeling a little more optimistic than I am, though, you can back Mambo on the project’s Kickstarter page.
Track the progress of the Mambo Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar.