Some games I’m just not that good at. It tends to be games like brutally hard shooters like Hotline Miami, LA Cops and the recently released The Hong Kong Massacre that reduce my ego to zero. It’s now Nintendo Switch that gets to sample some brutally hard quick fire action as 12 Is Better Than 6 smacks onto the console, and reduces me to tears.
The first thing that leaps out at you is the game’s look. It has a striking black and white hand drawn art style that certainly throws out a visually different experience from anything you may have played recently. The only colour apart from black and white you’ll encounter is red, and you’ll see a fair bit of it too, and it’s mainly your own.
Developed by Ink Stains Games and published by HypeTrain Digital, 12 Is Better Than 6 is a top-shooter set in North America in the 1870’s. Its Wild West theme presents a whole heap of trouble, as our hot headed sombrero wearing Mexican has been wrongfully arrested, enslaved and needs to escape, as well as take revenge. Using your quick reflexes and sharp shooting, it’s up to you get him out. Or in my case, let him die. Repeatedly.
12 Is Better Than 6 uses a fine mix of shooting and stealth to complete each level. The game encourages dodging, hiding and a well timed shot to do the job. Enemies are everywhere, and there’s lots of them. Sometimes you may not see them as the screen often doesn’t pull back enough for you to spot them. Then it’s bang, you’re dead. It’s not unfair, it just doesn’t want you racing through each section John Wick style. They rarely miss a shot too, so expect a lot of restarts.
You have a good selection of firearms to mess with but can only carry one at a time, along with your knife. Doubled barrelled shot guns, revolvers, dynamite and guns can all be picked up along the way. One thing that sets this game apart from others (apart from its look and a mouthful of a title) is the gun loading mechanic. Here you need to cock the gun with one trigger and fire with the other trigger. Also you can’t simply hoover over a dropped gun and retrieve it. Well you can, but you won’t have all its bullets. Pressing A picks up bullets, guns like shotguns take longer to load, so even while they can splat multiple enemies, reloading has its drawbacks. It’s a slightly confusing mechanic at first but becomes clear once you play the game.
With its brutality hard gameplay, unique shooting mechanics and art style, 12 Is Better Than 6 gives Nintendo Switch a belter of a top-down shooter. Just expect constant restarts and repeated death, gringo.
Lizard rating: 8/10