The Good, The Bad, and the Lonely
There’s a common discussion in modern video games revolving around the importance of couch co-op. The advent of online multiplayer on consoles made the demand less and less. At this point Couch co-op and party games are a genre unto themselves. Sombrero: Spaghetti Western Mayhem requires multiple players and hearkens the glory days by requiring real friends. The sentiment is nice, but despite being a fun game it’s hard to recommend with limited accessibility.
Sombrero is simple. Take Super Smash Bros. level designs, replace fighting with a twin stick shooter, and you have Sombero. At time of writing there are four levels, four game modes, and something like a million characters to choose from. Characters and levels are mostly aesthetic differences, so let’s walk through each game mode to get a feel for a round of Sombrero.
Deathmatch is exactly what it sounds like and represents the base game of Sombrero. Run around with your cowperson and shoot the bejeezus out of each other. There are special weapons to collect to make the murder easier, including lazers, shotguns, and dynamite. Kill the most players and you win.
Capture-the-flag AKA exactly-what-it-sounds-like-the-sequel. Every player starts with a base and a flag. Steal their flag and get to your home base to score points. Shoot people to prevent them from scoring points.
While playing Loot mode random bags of money will spawn at various points on the map. Collect the most and you win. Prevent others by…shooting them.
Bandito mode has players collecting a golden monkey idol. Hold the idol the longest and you win. Thankfully, the monkey acts as a ridiculous weapon, as well, so you won’t be defenseless.
The game works perfectly fine, and I enjoyed playing it, but there’s a few huge problems holding it back. For one, the price is a bit steep for the content. Other action and party games have been released cheaper and tend to have more content to keep things rolling. The other issue is the lack of single player anything. There aren’t even bots. Games are certainly better when played with real people, but even when I tried to play online through quick match I couldn’t find anyone in a reasonable amount of time. Sombrero doesn’t completely drop the ball, however. Multiple players can go online from one account, meaning there can be two or more people on one TV and jump online to play with others. It may not work out well for Sombrero in its current state, but so many games should take this idea and run with it. It is a fantastic feature, especially for a game that relies on multiple players to start.
Sombrero is a fun game, and that should be what’s important. If you have a solid game group and you’ve gotten your fill of Knight Squad or something similar, you’ll get a kick out of Sombrero. The game is supported by the devs and looks to add more content in the future, but as is there are other places to look to fill the multiplayer void in your collection. I like Sombrero and it takes great steps to make gaming lighter and more social. Unfortunately, without local pals there won’t be much here for other gamers.
FINAL VERDICT: 3.5/5
Available on: PC (Reviewed) ; Publisher: Alliance Digital Media; Developer: PixelMetal ; Players: 2-4; Released: October 27, 2016 ; MSRP: $14.99
Full Disclosure: This review was based on a PC review copy of Sombrero: Spaghetti Western Mayhem provided by the publisher