Gauntlet of Ire Review
Overall 7

Some people may balk at challenging video games, while others may look to test their might. KillerPokeGames’ Gauntlet of Ire and its 35 trials will certainly put your skills to the test, but is this an entertaining title as well?

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Gauntlet of Ire Review

Some people may balk at challenging video games, while others may look to test their might. KillerPokeGames’ Gauntlet of Ire and its 35 trials will certainly put your skills to the test, but is this an entertaining title as well?

Gauntlet of Ire Review

If somebody was to go into Gauntlet of Ire blind, they might be led to believe that this is a carefree romp full of bright colors, lighthearted piano music, and a casual atmosphere.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The objective of the game is simple – get your rolling ball to the end of each stage without flying off the edge or breaking it. However, this is far easier said than done. The first level (dubbed “Idiot Proof”) is a straightforward affair that requires you to jump from platform to platform. However, from there on out, there is a different gimmick for each level. Some may turn the world into Dragon Ball Z’s Snake Way, while others like the Spaceballs tribute “Going Plaid” will have you traveling ludicrous speed. This also extends to the level layouts as well – one may have you navigating things from a top-down perspective, while another may throw everything in reverse after a while. Though the game does not always play fair, it keeps things refreshing.

Players can navigate each stage using the arrow keys and the space button to jump. It might seem simple at first, but a firm understanding of the games’ physics and a decent sense of depth perception are crucial to make it past the early stages. Holding down the space bar may make your ball slowly rise in the air, but the speed going down is much faster. In addition, it is possible to hit the side of certain platforms (called “donging”), which affects the momentum as well. It admittedly takes some getting used to, as the platforming is not as precise as you’d expect. However, those that overcome the difficulty curve will enjoy mastering Gauntlet of Ire’s system.

Gauntlet of Ire - Gamers Heroes

To make things easier, there is an Easy Mode with checkpoints and the ability to play every stage from the get-go. Those looking for 100% completion though will have to play on Hard Mode, which has no checkpoints – no small feat. In addition, each stage is based on a three-star system, with stars awarded for completing the stage, completing the stage in under 20 seconds, and hitting every last platform of a stage. The latter is a Herculean task – if you are one of the talented folks that can get three stars on every level, we owe you a beer.

However, the less talented among us will have to deal with Gauntlet of Ire’s endless ribbing. The running death tally is just the start – the game will stack hot dogs on your ball, tell you that your soulmate doesn’t love you, and countless other ways to take you out of the zone. The game has Twitch integration too, so the masochistic among us can share their roasting with the world.

Gauntlet of Ire is an absolutely unforgiving game, but it’s one that is full of creativity. Those that can overcome its impossibly steep difficulty curve and floaty physics will find a meaty adventure that provides a nice, healthy challenge.

This review of Gauntlet of Ire was written based on the Steam version of the game. The game was purchased digitally.