12 is better than 6 is a dynamic top-down shooter by Ink Stains Games and published on Nintendo Switch by HypeTrain Digital. Set in 1873’s American Wild West it plays out in the vein of the Hotline Miami series and coming soon Ape Out. The story follows an escaped slave on his journey from Mexico to Texas.
The game starts with you being held captive and forced to work in a quarry. One day when the slave master is sleeping our protagonist takes his chance by killing the master and escaping. After travelling to the local town he stumbles upon a mission giver who guides him on the path to follow next. I won’t spoil any more story beats as they are fantastic and it deserves to be discovered while playing the game.
The aim of the game is simple, kill or be killed, hide and reach the end goal. Stalk your prey and work out the best way to dispose of them. You can either take the stealth approach and sneak around enemies or simply go all out guns blazing killing everyone and anything in sight. This game brings back fond memories of that first time playing Hotline Miami and trying to work out the best way to clear the surrounding areas.
The biggest difference here is that every time you fire a weapon you then have to cock it before it will fire again, fitting for the setting. This leads to many a panicked attempt at getting through the levels and adds to the adrenaline rush. You will inevitably die a lot during playthroughs which is part of the fun. Collect new weapons and upgrades as you progress to help make things easier. Get the timing right and you can silently disable enemies with a knife picking up any dropped loot.
12 is better than 6 uses a pen and paper art style like you used to draw at school and gives an amazing effect throughout this unique game. While killing enemies their blood shows up so vibrantly against the crisp hand-drawn paper effect backgrounds. There is a real beauty to the carnage in this game. Load times are so minimal you won’t even notice them happening which is always positive while playing on the go and the controls are super tight. The great soundtrack and sound effects finish off this near-perfect package.
12 is better than 6 is a stunning game that has a distinctive art direction that is so rarely used. Drawn to Death opted for this style and looked beautiful as well. The gameplay loop will keep you going back long after you have finished the main story just to be able to perfect that score and silent but deadly run. It is satisfying and rewarding getting to that point. This is a game that is worth every penny it costs. I really hope it doesn’t get lost in the eShop as this little gem deserves to be played by everyone.