Gunbrella review

by on September 13, 2023
Reviewed On
Release Date

September 13, 2023


Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that a gun is an effective tool for causing some damage, but as a weapon it’s just so passé. There are hundreds of iconic weapons in this great medium, and almost without fail the most boring of them are grey metal death sticks. Why would I want to fire a machine gun when I can swing around a Keyblade or launch balls of fire from my fingers? Well all of this goes out the window when you combine a gun with an everyday object, and create a weapon as instantly iconic as the Gunbrella.

Gunbrella opens with its grizzled protagonist traveling on a boat to a run down town, with one thing on his mind – revenge. The initially nameless hero of this story has had his family taken from him by a mysterious stranger, and now widowed he’s chasing the man who kidnapped his daughter. It’s a pretty dark story in a (despite its pixely appearance) pretty dark game, but one that is gripping from start to finish. On your revenge quest you’ll encounter all sorts of likeable characters and detestable foes too, from a lovable hobo who cooks rats for you to a scary blood cult.

A screenshot of Gunbrella

The real star of Gunbrella though is the gameplay, which involves shooting, platforming and a whole lot of the titular weapon. Without so much as opening the Gunbrella you can already run, jump and bounce up walls, but getting around is so much better using it. By opening the Gunbrella you dash in the direction you’re pointing, and you can also float through the air using it as a parachute. By combining this with a few wall jumps you’ll be able to make your way around the world with ease, and get the drop on anyone standing in your way.

The gun part of the Gunbrella is just as satisfying to use as the brella part, with an infinite amount of short range shotgun shells just waiting to be pumped into angry fish or evil cult heads. You can aim it in any direction you want with the right stick, but by default it aims in the direction you’re moving which often gets the job done just as well. There’s not much more enjoyable than gliding up to an unsuspecting enemy at breakneck speed and blasting a round right into them for a bloody instant kill, and you’ll be doing that constantly.

As well as blasting baddies into red paste, the Gunbrella can also be used defensively to keep those precious health hearts. By opening the Gunbrella at the moment a projectile is going to hit you, you can deflect it back to whoever fired it at you. Even if you get the timing wrong it’ll block all the incoming damage regardless, so it’s always worth channeling your inner Poppins when trouble is coming your way.

A screenshot of Gunbrella

As awesome a tool as the Gunbrella is at the start of the game, it only gets better when you upgrade it using the scrap you find. With faster reloading and a whole lot more power behind each shot, by the end of the game it’s a force to be reckoned with. You’ll also find a variety of ammo to load into this dapper firearm on your adventure, from bouncing saw blades to sticky bombs that’ll blow up anything they cling to. There aren’t a lot of weapons as versatile and entertaining to use as the Gunbrella, that’s for sure.

It’s a good job you have a badass weapon, because Gunbrella is packed with some seriously difficult boss fights. There’s not a single of these encounters with massive monsters that I didn’t enjoy, but the vast majority of them also had me retrying over and over again. Be prepared to dodge some massive attacks by zipping all over the place if you want to succeed, and don’t be disheartened when the deaths start piling up.

When I first played Gunbrella for preview a couple of months ago I was surprised by how linear a game it is. Now don’t get me wrong there are a few side quests and a decent amount of exploration, but this is more of a 2D action adventure than a Metroidvania. Honestly it’s rather refreshing to play a game that doesn’t expect you to wander around a massive world for hours looking for collectibles, instead Gunbrella is all killer and no filler.

A screenshot of Gunbrella

There are so many wonderful elements to this gritty action platformer that I could sit and list them for hours. Using the Gunbrella on ziplines and grapple points is just glorious, and there are some set pieces in the game that had me squealing with delight as I played. The story takes some interesting turns as well, which I won’t spoil in this review but I will advise you play this game through to the end to experience it in full.

There’s not a lot to complain about in Gunbrella, just a few annoying niggles at worst. Changing ammo is a little bit fiddly to manage easily in combat, and with a particular late game enemy it ends up being a bit of an issue. You could also argue that the five hours it takes to beat the game means it’s over too quickly, but really that’s just because stopping playing is the last thing you’ll want to do.

Gunbrella is a wonderful action platformer featuring one of the coolest weapons in all of video games. Getting around with your deadly brolly just feels sensational, and the gunplay is equally exquisite. It might be over a little faster than I’d have liked, but this revenge tale is packed full of fantastic moments.


Getting around with the Gunbrella is a delight
The dark story is compelling with plenty of twists and turns
The boss fights are fantastic
Some really cool set pieces


Switching weapons in combat is fiddly
Is over too quickly

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Gunbrella is a sensational action platformer with incredibly fluid locomotion and a story that takes some unexpected turns.