Gun Nac


Gun Nac box art. Note the carrots.

Read the review here.

“Overall, Gun Nac is a very capable shooter that takes the basic premise of a space-setting shoot-’em-up and ramps the action up to 11, turning the dial full-throttle, even if it has to sacrifice all coherency and stability to do so.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

Okay, I admit, I tend to judge games perhaps a little harshly if I see them as being just too purely random.

Gun Nac just feels a bit “off the rails” at times, for me, personally. It seems to bounce around between being utterly frenetic and absolutely fancy-free, with little ground between the two to tread. Now, obviously, I still gave it a very respectable score, so I do not think it is bad — it is a skillfully crafted shooter, well worth a look from shmup fans, challenge fans, and quirk fans alike.

But, in terms of the shoot-’em-up genre as a whole, and perhaps the NES canon in context, I appreciate a bit more of a, what is it, a certain… consistent, gradual pacing? A need for reflexes throughout? A smidge more plotting?

Whatever the case: Gun Nac goes for broke, and some will love it, for its zany bunny-rabbit spaceships and its bonkers-bananas boss battles. When I play, I find myself alternating between bored and anxious, dulled-out and spaced-out or frustratingly frantic.

Maybe that is just me, as this game is typically held in high regard. It is fun, sure (even if I think it would be better a little slimmed down without the shops, but I digress!), but not my first choice of shooters or 8-bit cartridges.

Call it a very playable curiosity, check it out for some excellent pixel visuals, and rock it out the next time you are up for something refreshing.

Read The Full Review For: An attempt at catching the mood of this game, a task akin to trying to catch the feeling of a beach-witnessed sunset in a bottle.

NES Gameplay Tips for Gun Nac: Grab the homing waves, sit back, and bring down the havoc, occasionally dodging pesky annoyances that drift toward you.

But seriously, I made a video about this flaw:

4 Responses to “ Gun Nac ”

  1. I haven’t played this one but look forward to picking up the cart. I’m a fan of quirky video games, and taking down a robot rabbit sounds awesome.

  2. Here’s the thing about Gun Nac that I think folks miss. It was developed by Compile, and with the bunnies, carrots, etc. it’s their “cute-em-up” in the same vein as Parodious for the Gradius series, Star Parodier for the Star Soldier series, etc. Compile games are known for being difficult, but not impossible, but they seem to all have the flaw of at least one weapon dwarfing the others in terms of destructive power and overall usefulness. Take any of the Aleste games (save, perhaps, for the later “M.U.S.H.A.” or “Robo Aleste” titles) and there’s always at least one weapon that makes the game far easier than any other in the arsenal. Maybe it’s just me, but maybe the homing weapon is just an ironically self-aware Compile doing it on purpose to show that the divide between weapons may not be quite as pronounced in all their “serious” titles as it is in their parody game? Could be.

    In any event, Gun Nac (and Zanac, it’s obvious inspiration) were also the much of the inspiration for the brilliant (and now legendary) PC shooter Tyrian (and it’s half-sequel Tyrian 2000). In Tyrian, however, you get to fly as the carrot craft and shoot peas or bananas.

  3. I only got this one a month or two ago, and although I wouldn’t call myself a huge shmup fan I’ve had a ball with this. It’s pretty crazy at times, but definitely playable.

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