Reviewed by Brett
Publisher – tinyBuild Games
Developer – tinyBuild, Zombie Dynamics
Music – Dangerous Mike, Boris The Razor, Harry Critchley
Category – Action, Adventure, Shooter
Release Date – May 10, 2018
Blood, Gore, Viscera.
Use of profane language.
Weird romp through madness.
High quality twin stick shooter.
I have said it before but i love me a good twin stick shooter and if you add high levels of gore and a good dose of weird, well lets just say i am starting off a little bit biased because that is a recipe of things i love in a game. Garage is a game made for me.
In Garage you play as a drug dealer named Butch. Some things go bad with a big deal and drugs go missing. Your employers are not happy about the situation and have presumably kidnapped you to put you out of your misery. Thankfully things do not go according to plan for them and you wake up in the trunk of a crashed car. Or as it turns out not so thankfully as you are now in the parking structure of the Garage, a mega mall complex, that as it turns out has become a terrifying hellscape filled with hostile guards and Frankensteined together abominations. You must find your way out and with a little help from a secretive helper, a multitude of weapons and occasional drug use, you might just make it. You gain most if not all of the backstory elements from conversations with your accomplice and from notes scattered about the levels and hidden in locked chests, which in case you cant figure it out (it took me quite awhile) to open the chests you need a lock combination, which can be found by observing numbers on the floor throughout the level.
Garage is all about shooting. At first your only armed with your fists and the ability to kick and very early you gain access to a fire ax but as soon as you get your hands on a firearm there is no going back. You will find an assortment of weapons from standard pistols to sub machine guns and grenades, most are standard weapons but they all feel very good to handle .You will be shooting your way through thirteen chapters filled with soldiers and horrible creatures that will kill you on sight. This is a twin stick shooter so you move with the left stick and aim with the right, shooting with the right trigger. You also have a roll function that will become a necessity in more frantic encounters.
Since shooting is your main priority, aiming needs to be precise and thankfully its spot on. In earlier stages you need to make your shots count as ammunition management comes into play. If your too trigger happy you will find yourself out of ammo and stuck using the ax or your fists and in my experience that is not all you want to have in your arsenal. Aiming for heads is always recommended as you will use less bullets to take down whatever is coming your way. Once your a few chapters in however i found it a little easier to keep ammo on hand and needed to be less conservative about ammo usage. I went from carefully popping two shots into a zombies head to holding the trigger on a fully automatic machine gun mowing down whatever shambling beast was coming for my jugular. That is not to say you should throw all caution to the wind about ammo management, i most likely just got better at aiming over time and always kept an eye on which gun had more ammo and which type of ammo was dropping from enemies in a particular area.
I did my play-through on regular difficulty and I found it to be fairly challenging. Most enemies, once you figure out how to deal with them, can be easily dispatched as long as you have the right weapon for the job. If your in the later levels and you find yourself completely out of ammo your pretty much screwed. I never found any encounter to be unfair but if you approach your enemies foolishly you are going to die. You can get taken out in as little as two hits if your not careful. Tough but fair.
Even by rats.
If you get cornered by even two rats and are not ready for them you will die.
My god do i hate the rats in Garage.
There were many occasions where i had to learn the hard way the proper way to go about dealing with a particular room of enemies. Both you and your enemies are bound by lines of sight. You can see the rooms ahead of you, but not until your character actually turns a corner can you see where the enemies are and vice versa. I found this at times to be both nice and frustrating. I should have learned after doing it a couple times but on occasion I would make a turn sharply around a corner thinking nothing was there only to stumble into a cluster of enemies. This makes sense as you shouldn’t magically be able see through all the walls, i just kept forgetting about this aspect of realism.
There are also a couple of segments in Garage that break up the action with a little something different. Notable times this happened were a brief motorcycle escape sequence and a peaceful if not disgusting raft ride.
Featuring beautiful pixel art from Evgeniy Yudin (@Mazokpixels) Garage looks fantastic. Everything from backgrounds to characters to effects are extremely detailed. Many of the levels are on the dark side but not so dark you cant tell whats going on, plus with everything being darker toned it really makes the fire, blood and gore pop on the screen. The title and some context screens also have some wonderfully animated images that really (as much as i like the style of the game as is) make you wonder what the game would look like fully modeled to that look like that.
The music and soundeffects by Dangerous Mike, Boris The Razor and Harry Critchley are also really top notch. With beats that amp up the action with high energy and chilling somber tones for the occasional slower paced section really match the chaos and stillness of the settings.
Garage is a wonderfully bloody fun time. It is wonderfully well made with beautiful pixel art, a fantastic soundtrack and and great sound effects. Game play is solid as a rock, controls are tight and responsive and its a little on the challenging side as all twin sticks should be. I only wish it was a little longer and perhaps had a few more enemy designs. Though from the end titles i think we may be treated to a sequel if it does good enough. So if you like a good twin stick shooter do not wait on this one, Garage is gory and fun as hell and i love it.