Gunbrella seamlessly combines exactly the two items you'd think

Gunbrella combines a gun and an umbrella, and makes one wonder why no-one's done it before. A seriously slick-looking 2D platformer for developer Doinksoft, with Devolver Digital on publishing duties, the game is built around rapid switches between blasting enemies and using the umbrella's defensive and movement capabilities.

You play as "a gruff woodsman on a quest for revenge", who reminds me mostly of Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec, and shoot-slash-Poppins your way through "ghouls and gangsters, cops and cultists, and the fallout of corporate exploitation". The game isn't solely action though: your gunbrella-toting woodsman is on some sort of investigation and interrogates other characters they meet along the way to build a picture of what's going on.

The game's Steam page (opens in new tab) says the locations range from a junkyard-turned-fortress to a mythical city, and you'll gradually uncover some sort of supernatural nastiness. There's a basic crafting system, and Gunbrella also boasts a cute website where you can make the main character fire with mouse clicks (opens in new tab), though sadly it doesn't yet boast any umbrella functionality (that I can find).

All the cruft aside, the reason this is immediately on my radar is how slick and satisfying it looks in action—there's a sequence where the beardy protagonist is rushing at an enemy who's firing, and raises the umbrella to deflect the shots before switching back to a gun and blowing them away. That's the kind of action I want in my life.

Developer Doinksoft (what a great name) previously worked on the excellent Gato Roboto (opens in new tab), a Game Boy-inspired Metroidvania that was short but very sweet indeed. This lot know exactly what they're doing when it comes to platformers, so Gunbrella will hopefully be just as good as it looks. It's due for release sometime next year.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."