Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Bartlow's Dread Machine" Review

Wearing its steampunk-influenced charm on its epaulet-adorned sleeves, "Bartlow's Dread Machine" piles on the 19th century trappings, ever amused at itself as it takes you for a ride on a creaky old penny-farthing.

The twin-stick shooter challenges you to hit the mean-yet-mannered countryside in search of kidnapped President Teddy Roosevelt. 

In a travelogue that spans the breadth of Americana -- from New York to San Francisco -- you romp through the tongue-in-cheek parody.

As a Tin Woodsman-like secret agent, you take on a band of devil-worshipping anarchists, with historical figures periodically popping up to help out.

Developer Beep Games revels in stylish visuals and sound design, slyly mocking the period setting while also paying adoring tribute to it.

Bursting at the rivet-lined seams with bouncy wit, the game will no doubt slap a goofy smile on your face. 

While there's little remarkable about the combat or controls, "Bartlow's Dread Machine" manages to stay interesting by humming to the tune of its own phonograph.

Publisher provided review code.

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