On August 23rd, QAG dropped ‘Gurgamoth‘ a flying fighting game where the level is your weapon, to the Nintendo Switch. “Each match is lightning quick and focuses on intense flying combat and getting in your opponent’s head. The controls are simple, but the mechanics and interesting levels bring out the game’s depth.”
Gurgamoth’s gameplay shines in its simplistic nature. The control scheme is made up of 4 main aspects, movement, attack, dodge and stun. To perform these movements a player only has to use the control stick and two buttons. The goal of the game is to bump your opponent into environment hazards, thus sacrificing them to Gurgamoth, the deity and namesake of the game. With enough sacrifices a player summons Gurgamoth and is named the winner.
These simple controls allow for any player regardless of skill to play this game and with that it is a phenomenal party game. With the Switch release, QAG has also added the capability to play with bots for a single player experience. This update has allowed for players to be able to play without having a couch full of friends, whether to practice and hone skills or just get a couple of rounds in during a commute. This is as great an addition to the game as it was glaring omission in this title’s previous release.
With how easy any player can pick up and play, it relies heavily on the different stages and art style to carry the replay value. With a full group of four players the matches can be hectic and a lot of fun, but as you remove players and play a 1 v 1 match, the game starts to show its cracks.
The deeper mechanics of the game, the stun and the dodge, can be used by people familiar with fighting games to punish more casual players. Gurgamoth in many ways is similar to other fighting games but lacks some of the basic fighting game functionality. The draw is that the matches are fast paced and based on a first to three scoring system but there is no scoreboard system post match. This feature is one that most competitive party games offers and allows the winner to have the “high-score” which drives competition. While there are some missing features, Gurgamoth’s art style and level design keep players coming back for more. The biggest complaint received during the night was that there were too few levels and the players wanted to experience even more creative designs.
The art is comparable to other games such as Castle Crashers. It is vibrant and its distinct colors help distinguish its levels. Quickly it became apparent which levels were the players favorite with shouts of “let’s play the snow level again” or “I love the level with the buzzsaws!”. It is this unique feel of each level and design of the hazards that made players want to play “one more game” to see how the next level will be used to sacrifice the other players. This is Gurgamoth’s strength with the controls being simple, the stages and hazards truly carry this games playability.
Gurgamoth shines as a competitive couch multiplayer game. In my house, most gatherings eventually devolve into a heated competition focused around a handful of games. The matches can be over in a matter of seconds or, as the players become more skillful and start to read their opponents, it becomes a skillful dance of dodging and striking at the perfect moment.
Gurgamoth is a fun game that has some glaring omissions. The lack of online play means players will either be content with bot matches or playing at at gatherings. The bots are a great addition and have two levels of difficulty but are a pale comparison to having people side by side on a couch playing. At the end of the day this is a fun party game that allows people of all skill levels to play, but lacks the depth and variety of other parties games to keep it being played longer than a few matches.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!