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8Days Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . From the throwback visuals to the way the way the story plays out, there's a lot to like about 8Days. Sadly, it's marred by a frustrating single-player experience that doesn't feature enough health pickups and has some bad checkpointing. It doesn't do much you haven't seen countless times before, but fans of the genre will have a good time fighting through all 8Days. Rating: 64%
8Days
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
Still hung over from the memories of Vietnam, the 1980s produced a lot of entertainment where burly men fought guerrilla armies deep in jungle settings. It wasn't just movies like Rambo and Missing in Action, but also some of the most popular games, including everything from Ikari Warriors to Commando to the original Metal Gear. The era of Alf and shoulder pads may have come to an end, but Santa Clara Games hopes you still harbor an itch to return to the jungle and shoot the pixels out of anything that moves.

The mission was so straightforward: Travel East and break the world rice embargo. But as luck would have it, your helicopter is shot down and it's up to Lola Cruz and Mike Doe to break out of their jungle prison and shoot their way to victory. It may be a setup you've seen countless times, but it's an effective way to throw our heroes right into the action.


8Days is a retro-inspired shooter that takes the tried-and-true Ikari Warriors formula and staples on proper dual-stick mechanics. Either solo or through local co-op, our heroes fight their way through five surprisingly long stages full of twists, turns and great pixel art. It may be a wildly uneven quest that will have you throwing your controller in frustration, but I have a hunch that fans of this type of shoot-em-up will get a kick out of where 8Days takes them.

What starts out as a fairly straight-forward action game becomes more interesting and engaging the longer it goes on. You go from the lush jungles of the first level to industrial factories, barren deserts, dark caverns and so much more. The developers at Santa Clara Games do a good job of mixing things up throughout the level, so you probably won't get bored of seeing the same objects over and over.

8Days (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

That said, the stages do go on longer than I would have liked. Even though we're often seeing new locations, it sometimes feels like there's filler tossed in to extend the life of the game. This may be less of a problem when playing with a friend, but the solo experience can feel like a real chore at times.

There are a couple of issues that keep this from being a great single-player action game. This is the type of quest where the game will save when you enter a new room. While this type of checkpointing may sound helpful, it has a real tendency of biting you in the ass. There were so many times when I entered a room with a single hit point, doomed to die with the very next shot. But instead of respawning with full health, we have to figure out how to complete that room without taking a single hit. That's not an easy task.

8Days (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

This goes from merely inconvenient to downright cruel in later stages. Instead of dealing with small rooms, we'll need to clear out massive areas without taking damage. There were times when I went for ten or fifteen minutes before dying, only to lose all of that progress. This is made worse by the enemy's large bullets and the narrow pathways. It always felt like the developers were purposely holding back on the powerful weapons and health items.

Despite some incredibly frustrating moments, I was always curious to see where the mission would take us next. It's not just the retro look, but also the large bosses and new settings. 8Days is a game bursting with personality, and the developers do a good job of planting seeds from one stage to the next. Right from the very beginning, it's clear that there's more going on than you might expect. And I enjoyed seeing the way the game pays off some of those early hints.

From the throwback visuals to the way the way the story plays out, there's a lot to like about 8Days. Sadly, it's marred by a frustrating single-player experience that doesn't feature enough health pickups and has some bad checkpointing. It doesn't do much you haven't seen countless times before, but fans of the genre will have a good time fighting through all 8Days.
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