David Szymanski’s Dusk took the world by storm when it released back in 2018. It was such a well-crafted shooter in the Quake style that perfectly blended fast paced action with horror. It showed the hallmarks of an expert at the FPS craft.

So, how did he follow that up? Well, aside from making a game about stapling squirrels to a corpse (which we reviewed recently), he made a short little game about shooting time travelling goblins. Not quite what I expected, in all honesty.

However, the result is probably one of the best shooters on the Switch.

CHOP CHOP
The setup to Chop Goblins feels a bit like something from a fever dream. After breaking into a museum to steal some treasure, you unwittingly open a chest containing the malevolent Chop Goblins. These foul creatures thrive on wreaking havoc, and now they’re free to chop up the world as they see fit.

Pursuing them outside, you soon realise that things are much worse than you could ever have imagined. They’ve (somehow) managed to open a portal through time and intend to destroy history in order to make the future their own.

This journey will take you back in time to Transylvania and Ancient Greece, before flinging you back into the future in an attempt to put a stop to the evil Chop Goblins once and for all!

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The story is equal parts epic and stupid, which is only really underlined by the game’s overall presentation and gameplay. The art style is largely reminiscent of Dusk with its low poly look, but the vibrant colours and goofy looking enemies make it less of a pure horror experience and more like a one of those B-movies from the 80s. Heck, there’s even a VHS filter that can be added for increased authenticity, should you want to do so.

Each of the game’s five stages are beautifully crafted and jam-packed full of secrets and coins for you to seek out. The latter of which is merely used as a way of accruing meaningless points, but the former can lead you to some useful weapons, or perhaps even an upgrade to enhance an existing one. The beauty of the stages though is the level design, and they all complement that fast-paced action well with levels that keep you moving forward as you find a way to loop back on yourself after opening the way forward. It all feels incredibly fluid and rewarding, and you’ll never feel like you’re lost with no idea where to go.

There aren’t a massive amount of weapon types available, with each stage typically introducing a new one to play with, but there’s more than enough to ensure you never get tired of any of them. At first you’ll gain access to a flintlock pistol, which fires only a single shot before you have to reload but it packs one hell of a punch, but later you’ll find a shotgun, a crossbow flinging machine-gun, and even a magical staff too. They all feel uniquely different and fun to use, and the secondary knife attack will allow you to stab enemies with the press of a button should you wish to conserve ammunition. Gunplay feels absolutely fantastic throughout, especially with the excellent gyro aiming, and the ammo supplies are managed well to ensure that you’re encouraged to switch between weapons but never run out of everything entirely. Ammo supplies in shooters can tend to be a difficult balancing act, but it’s managed to perfection here.

As for the goblins themselves, they’re a handful of designs available that have a mostly similar look to them, but the way they act is what makes them feel particularly unique. There are standard goblins that typically  come at you in hordes but being weaponless makes them a minimal threat, green ones that throw shit at you from a distance, heavy fellas with throwable axes and a ton of health, dog goblins that move at quick speed and leap at you with their gnashing jaws, flying goblins, and more. Each new stage typically introduces a new type, and it helps to constantly keep you on your toes.

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Even though the length of the game may put some people off, there’s still plenty of content here in order to make the €5 seem like an absolute steal. In addition to the main game, every level also has a remixed version that you can take on for a completely new challenge in familiar environments; there’s also different gameplay  modes for you to activate should you want to play through a mirrored version of the game or gain access to some special new weaponry, and the goblin difficulty is a must for veteran FPS players looking for a challenge.

But what really makes the game a steal is just how addictive it is. Despite finishing the game, I can’t stop thinking about it, and I keep going back for more. The short nature of the game serves well for dipping in and out, and replaying the whole game whenever it takes your fancy. Whilst I may not have played more than an hour or so of the game so far, I can see myself playing more than fifty over the course of the Switch’s lifespan.

VERDICT
Chop Goblins is an incredible budget FPS that manages to cram in an epic experience spanning past, present, and future in a game that only takes about half an hour to beat. Its fast paced gameplay and awesome arsenal of weapons only help to make this an absolute rollercoaster ride from start to finish. An absolute must buy for fans of retro shooters.