A quick hands-on with Band of Outlaws

 

A while back I wrote about my time at the Indy Pop Con media convention, specifically about the game Cattails which you can read here. However, during my time at the con I played a sizeable amount of independent games. A lot of those games, while promising, were still a long ways off of an official release date. I held off from speaking about them until they were closer to launch, but one of my personal favorites from the show completely snuck up on me! I’m talking about a 2D action platformer called Band of Outlaws, which has just hit its big release date on Steam.

In Band of Outlaws , you control an adorable 8-bit version of the iconic Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men. As the famous thieves, you take back towns from the evil Prince John and defeat bosses while watching your Sherwood Forest hideout grow and accumulate a mass of gold that would make Smaug blush. The game also contains a local multiplayer deathmatch mode that pits two of the Merry Men against each other in a battle of archery skill.

In my time with Band of Outlaws, I played the first mission and took back the land with style. Band of Outlaws provides a satisfying platforming experience with tight jumps and a silky smooth wall jump mechanic; I am just an absolute sucker for a nice wall jump. The main weapon of the Merry Men is the simple bow and arrow. You can peg the enemies from a distance, but I found that it fired quick enough to work just as well in extremely close quarters. In the level I played the enemy design was varied really well and each enemy and their placement gave me a challenge. I would have to dodge an attacking bird, while also keeping an eye on enemy archers who would take pot shots at me until I could land a total MLG turnaround no scope arrow shot on both enemies while hitting just the right jump.

Unfortunately, the show floor demo did not include the multiplayer aspect, which bummed me out really hard. The gameplay in the single player mode felt great and just the thought of transferring that to a two player deathmatch could lead to some very intense battles; similar in spirit to Towerfall Ascension.

Band of Outlaws is available now for $4.99 USD on Steam, and you can visit the store page here.

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