I’m going to be honest here: I don’t know what the hell’s going on with A Thug In Time, a new three-quarter perspective shooter on the Play Store. Part of me wants to appreciate the effort put into stuff like the hand-animated anime cutscenes (though I’d like to make clear here I’ve never watched a minute of the stuff otherwise). Unfortunately, that’s a very small part, and the remainder of my opinion towards it isn’t that positive at all. It’s like the peanut butter and crackers of gaming: Good in very small doses but a sticky, unappealing mess past that point.
Chief among things I don’t understand about A Thug In Time is the story. I’m not sure how much I should dog on a game for my own lack of comprehension, but here goes. As the titular Thug (introduced at length in a three-minute, hand-drawn cutscene), your job is to shoot all kinds of different enemies. Enemies with guns, enemies with bombs, enemies with thunder-summoning hammers of the gods… the usual suspects, in other words. Besides that, I can’t really tell you what goes on. That all said I can’t really say that knowing the tale would make me engage with the game any more than I already did. I couldn’t make myself care about a single one of the characters I was introduced to throughout the course of my gameplay.
As a 3.5d shooter, A Thug In Time should have been the equivalent of digital crack for me. It wasn’t. Something about the loose, floaty controls and uninspired gunplay didn’t appeal to me. Actually, I know exactly what that something is: The floaty controls and uninspired gunplay.
If you’ve played mobile staples like Gun Bros you have a good idea of what you’re getting into here. Not a perfect idea — I probably enjoyed 90% of the games I’ve played in the genre more than this one — but it’s a good description of the gameplay. It’s not an entirely unfun experience, mind you. I just spent most of my time feeling like I’d done this before,, and done it in a better overall piece of software to boot. All in all it didn’t give me much reason to, you know, want to play. Not a good sign.
As with some other mid-tier Android titles, the game tends to look like a gussied-up flash titles. Its menus in particular look kind of — I don’t know — cheap or tacky or something. If it sounds like I’m getting nitpicky, I’d submit that the entire experience is important when considering a game. Even a revolutionary game can have serious flaws… and revolutionary this one ain’t.
Even at no cost I can’t say I recommend A Thug In Time. I hate to rip on the game so much, but it’s just so… so… blah. That’s the best way I can put it, however sad that is for someone with a writing-related degree. Check it out if you want. I’m guessing you won’t be spending much time with it.