LD 26: Mustache Armies

Mustache Armies

Flags are the most precious items in games. You can’t beat a flag of victory waving around in the air. It’s why so many games involve capturing or otherwise stealing flags. Even Mario had a flag! We do lots of things for flags, but Mustache Armies really pushes the chasing of a flag to the limit. In what I would have to say is a smaller version of the upcoming Super T.I.M.E Force, in Mustache Armies you attempt to take on a huge army of burly blokes with guns, bazookas and military vehicles. Your goal is the blue flag resting atop the biggest bulldozing tank your opponent has at the far end.

This is a sidescrolling shooter that isn’t exactly minimalist, but it uses a cool concept and does it with a surprising amount of polish. To start off with, you only have one little chap with a finely brushed moustache to do the job. He has a weak and quite pathetic pistol, and given that you’re outnumbered vastly and the enemy has much bigger guns than you do, it’s inevitable that you’ll die at some point.

Mustache Armies

With each enemy that you are able to kill, though, you’ll gain some dollars, and upon dying, you’ll be taken to a character selection screen, where you’ll notice you can buy the burlier guys with the big bears and other more impressive facial hair. Once again, you’ll just have the little pistol-wielding fella to choose from, but when you play this time, you’ll notice that your previous self is there too! Now you have a bit more of a chance at taking your enemies down, given that there are two guns being fired at them.

As you might have guessed, with each death comes an extra person to help you in earning those dollars and killing those angry beards firing bullets and rockets at you. You get further and further and will start to see some decent progress once you’ve got enough money to buy the bigger units. There’s a speedy chap with a katana, a huge muscular, but slow dude with a minigun, a rocket launcher and a grenade launcher. Basically, the characters bear many resemblance to those in Team Fortress 2. That’s quite an apt comparison too, because the artstyle has a similar comic sheen to it that really pops out.

Mustache ArmiesThings start to get a little more exciting when your dollars move into the thousands and you can grab a tank or a helicopter. After that, it’s just the huge mech to bring into the fight, and once you’ve got a couple of them, it’s pretty much game over for your opponents. I love this style of gameplay, though – just gradually building up an army of crazy characters that charge into the enemy and eventually die, one by one. It becomes a right big mess in the end (in a good way), and with all of the activity going on, I half-expected the game to start slowing down, but it doesn’t at all, so kudos to Turbo Dindon!

I’d love to see more levels added to this, but then I guess we’d be getting into dodgy territory as the core idea is so similar to Super T.I.M.E Force. Still, if you haven’t had a chance to play that upcoming game, then this is a very polished and mega-fun free version, and it’s quite replayable too. See if you can beat the game by using fewer and fewer men. It took me 58 guys to eventually get to the winning flag. That’s definitely beatable.