Gunboat God is a hectic seafaring shoot 'em up with Cuphead and Luftrausers vibes

Few modern shoot 'em ups look as distinctive as Gunboat God. As the pilot of a constantly endangered gunboat, you'll need to survive through "hundreds" of challenging levels riddled with weird monsters. This is slightly complicated by the fact that monsters come hurtling towards the gunboat from the air, from underwater and from left and right too. 

Gunboat God comes bearing a scribbly high-contrast art style sorta reminiscent of Luftrausers, but the spectacle hews closer to My Friend Pedro and Cuphead. This is due to the fact that, yes, the gunboat can jump and even course underwater for a brief spell, but it'll also have to contend with the condition of the ocean too: shooting at unpredictable supernatural phenomena tends to be harder during a seastorm (my speculation).

The jump button is also important for avoiding obstacles, which come careening towards our cherished gunboat whether it has its hands full with, for example, creepy oversize punching fists or not. Add to that a growing arsenal of weapons, abilities and skills, and Gunboat God has the whiff of one of those simple games that become an obsession. The trailer, released today during the PC Gaming Show, shows how far a brilliant art style can elevate a familiar genre.

Gunboat God is the work of solo developer Tom Janson, whose work includes the moreish smartphone platformer Death Hall. It's due to hit Steam at the beginning of 2026.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.