I just finished beating the game a little while ago, and I’m still seeing flashing colors. It might be hard to tell what’s going on in just a screenshot, but if you have a quick eye and aren’t prone to seizures (seriously, if you’re epileptic, stay away from this game), finding some order in the action is pretty simple.
The overall game follows just a few basic rules, which are tweaked slightly for the different modes. Classic mode is an unending, high score-racking campaign where the main goal is to collect the eggs that appear around the arena. Your collection of eggs will trail behind you as long as they’re in your possession, making it easy for your arch nemeses, the geese, to snatch them away. If you collide with one of the geese, whether on accident or during a purposeful charge attack, whoever has the least amount of eggs will explode, losing all their eggs in the process and respawning with nothing. This continues until you run out of lives.
Even this default mode is super compelling and fun. The game isn’t easy, which seems to be what Attack Mountain is trying to make themselves known for, and I’m definitely into it. From what I’ve played of their games so far (this one and a boss battle from the Attack Pack that I wrote about here), they manage to exist in that perfect realm of difficulty where losses and failures are rarely frustrating, because repeating the level is fun enough even without win conditions. Accumulating eggs, dashing around dodging enemies, smashing into them when you’re dominating and evading them when you’re not, scooping up the enemy team’s cache from behind them and jumping right into the lead – it’s all just really satisfying.
The insane, flashing neon backgrounds, frantic visual effects and thrilling electronic beats certainly help. Visually, the game is pure chaos. Colors seem to be randomly generated each time you start up a level, so there’s always some new combination of neon to destroy your eyesight while you’re busy destroying your competition. Even minor visual effects like that help make the game feel grounded and comfortable in its chosen style, making Quack Attack 1985 an engaging game just by looks alone.
Other game modes include Keep Away, where collecting and keeping a consistent supply of eggs slowly raises your score bar, with the winner being the first to reach ten, King of the Hill, where you have to collect eggs and build a similar high score bar by occupying designated spaces within the arena, which come and go, and Duckster’s Revenge, my personal favorite, where collecting eggs builds up a rage meter that, once unleashed, makes you momentarily invincible and capable of crushing your geese foes by mere impact. Finally, there’s Eggmageddon, a mode similar to Classic, only this time, you’re feeding smaller eggs to the Doom Egg, which eventually grows so large it obscures the screen. It’s intense.