Sentry City (Switch) Review

From the publisher that gave us the lovely Donut Dodo, Flynn’s Arcade latest title is a departure from their new, retro arcade game roots. Instead, Sentry City is a linear action platformer run-and-gun with quality pixel visuals.

Inspired by Blade Runner, this cyberpunk side-scroller is tough thanks to difficult enemy placement and particularly placed hazards. Even though the playable character wields a pistol, the difficulty reminds me of classic Ninja Gaiden but with an overworld map loosely reminiscent of Bionic Commando.  There is plenty of trial and error here, especially within the later stages. Having quick reaction time won’t hurt either. Since there are infinite continues, the game wants you to keep trying even though it will continually kick you when you are down.

The difference with Sentry City is the need to manage each bullet in your pistol since reloading is a factor. Reloading leaves you open to attack and you cannot reload and move at the same time. This is where most of the challenge lies because each shot counts. You also cannot duck and shoot so picking off those fast-hovering droids with a tiny bullet is quite the challenge.

Sentry City deserves credit because each stage is composed of a different layout, but enemy types repeat. The linearity of each stage also makes the experience straightforward and simple. Without collectables, upgrades, or secrets, it feels like something is missing. Performance of the player is also determined with a star-based scoring system at each stage’s conclusion but it is nearly impossible to earn the perfect 3-star rating due to the tight timer and high challenge. The smooth frame rate, excellent pixel art, and retro synth-wave soundtrack also fits the bill nicely. Props must also be given to the quality comicbook-ish cutscenes.

Due to the high difficulty factor and lack of replay value, Sentry City isn’t a game for everyone but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without quality. Personally, I find the tough trial and error formula gets exhausting by Stage 5 but gluttons for punishment with favoritism of a retro style will have plenty to enjoy in this low-cost $5 digital download.

SCORE: 6.5/10

Also Play: Murtop

Better Than: Papertris

Wait For It: Flynn’s Arcade next release

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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