Ducks of Doom
If you’ve never heard of Duck Game, then you’re probably confused about what it is. It looks like an intense parody of Doom on its cover, but is actually a pixel-style gun brawler in gameplay. What in the world does it all mean?
The reality is that Duck Game is an extremely self-aware game. Through its wacky humor, insane combat, and nonstop jokes, it can be hard to make heads or tails of the game when you’re laughing so hard. It’s through all these ridiculous elements that make Duck Game one of the best multiplayer games I’ve ever played and a great fit for the Nintendo Switch.
Lock and Load
You’ll find Duck Game similar to Super Smash Bros. Four players are loaded into an arena where the last person is standing. Instead of taking that fighting game’s mechanics, Duck Game invents its own in clever ways. There are weapons and items littered around each stage. Through a hilarious game of trial and error, players will pick up each weapon and fire, trying to figure out what they do. They must then use those weapons in a panic to try and take down their friends.
The beauty in this system is that shooting guns isn’t the only way to get the job done. There are weapons that confine players in cobwebs, allowing them to be thrown off stage. There are roman candles, which light the stage on fire. There are even boxes that you can drop on your opponents’ heads for a difficult kill. Your imagination is your best friend in Duck Game, and the most creative players may just end up on top.
That said, Duck Game is extremely fast paced. With just three seconds before every match starts, you have to make a plan and enact it as soon as possible, or you’ll be knocked out. Take on shot, and you’re down until the next round. As a result, Duck Game is very quick, and players will need to constantly be on their toes if they want to win. This leads to some crazy scenarios in which players shoot each other at the same time or both fall off the stage trying to out-maneuver the other. It’s tons of fun through and through. If you’re not quite suited to play, though, Duck Game is just as fun to sit back and watch.
Like most multiplayer games Duck Game is at its best when you’re sitting on the couch with three of your friends. If that’s not available to you, Duck Game gives you options. There are plenty of single player challenges that teach you to get better with the game’s weapons and items, giving out bonuses and new hats as rewards. These are fun for a while and could keep players busy for a few hours, but that’s not all that’s available.
Duck Game also supports local wireless and online play. In my time with both, I can confirm that they work extremely well. Neither setting forced me into any lag, and I was playing just as well as I was during local multiplayer. The game also doesn’t waste your time by forcing you out of a match if someone leaves. It just keeps going as long as there is at least one other person.
Playing online with your friends is also made easy through Duck Game‘s room creation system. Like many online games, you can set up a room, to which other people can join. It’s a nice addition on the Switch, considering that the online setup for that console could use some work.
Duck Game even gives players the chance to create their own stages. Seeing all the crazy things that people come up with on the PC version, it’ll be exciting to see how Switch owners will take advantage of this feature. There is a lot of freedom with the stage creator, so those disappointed with Super Smash Bros Ultimate‘s stage builder might enjoy this a lot more.
I also spent a great amount of time in both handheld and docked play. Because Duck Game is far from a graphically intensive game, it’s easy to see that it runs beautifully in both. I didn’t experience slowdown or frame rate drops. Docked mode is the way to go for local multiplayer, but handheld mode can be used perfectly for any of the others.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Duck Game was provided by the publisher.