Thunderflash review for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS5
Platform: PS4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Seep
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

In a way, it?s kind of refreshing how unpretentious Thunderflash is. It?s a pastiche of every 8-bit run & gun action game from the ?80s, and it makes no effort to try to hide that fact, nor to be anything more than that. It promises that right in the first line of its PlayStation Store description, and it starts delivering on that from the moment the game starts off: you get a loading screen straight out of an ?80s computer game, and you then get launched immediately into a world where you have to shoot every terrorist in your way.

Or, more precisely, you could shoot every terrorist in your way, but you shouldn?t, because there?s really no point to it. And that?s that?s where Thunderflash kind of falls apart: it takes run & gun a little too literally. To beat it, all you have to do is constantly run forward, shooting the entire time, and you?ll be at the end before you know it.

Well, almost before you know it. You?ll occasionally have to stop and change your direction, after all. And your character doesn?t move that quickly, so it takes time to make it from one end of the level to the other. Plus, even if your character is a bullet sponge, you?ll still take a tonne of damage, and every so often you?ll die.

There?s also the annoying fact that there aren?t many gun upgrades here. You?re mostly stuck with a not-very-powerful gun, with more powerful weapons that run out all too quickly scattered here and there in every level. For a game built around shooting, Thunderflash doesn?t let you do it in a very interesting way, for the most part.

Conceivably, more and better guns would make Thunderflash more interesting…but at the same time, this is a game where you just move forward constantly if you want to win. There?s only so much more interesting it can get. That may have been enough 35 years ago, and it may still be enough for people who miss those days of gaming, but in present day, it just feels kind of lacklustre.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Thunderflash PS4/PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: C-