John Mambo – A Retro Throwback

Retro Arcade games surely do have an interesting design and gameplay. I never got to experience going to an arcade myself. I could only imagine the thrill of going up to the arcade cabinet and inserting a coin to play. Though, I have been able to play many arcade games that have been ported to consoles. And the title John Mambo being developed by Iction Games, for sure is almost a complete blast to the past.

A Blast to the Past

You play as the iconic John Mambo, a soldier who is careless and very clumsy. The gameplay style is heavily inspired by retro classics such as; Commando, Ikari Warriors, Cannon Fodder, Metal Slug, and Merc. Starting up the game you’re brought to the main menu from there you have the option to choose between either English or Spanish for the languages. Social side links to share around the game. As well as a link to the Kickstarter page.

One mission is available for this demo. This mission takes place on an island under enemy control. It’s up to John Mambo to go in, stop them, then save the villagers of the island held captive. When I first started playing I didn’t have my controller around me, so I resorted to playing with my keyboard and mouse. It controlled well, very responsive, not too sensitive.

Environmental interactions are present as well. From what I played it was a very fun and interesting game and would be even more fun to play in co-op. Going around shooting the enemies is a good way to relieve stress, and hearing those old replicated retro sounds gave me a nostalgia overload.

Staying true to the retro-feel

The music captures the retro-feel perfectly. It makes you feel epic as you’re going in and taking back control of the island. And I for sure felt as if I were John Mambo himself as I rolled back and forth between dodging bullets from enemies and even missiles from tanks! To make up for talking they made little mumble sounds and displayed text bubbles showing speech, which in my opinion is a great comedic nod to what the developers are going for.

The mix of comedy and action makes John Mambo an enjoyable and iconic game. I could see this game becoming a title that everyone will enjoy when it launches in the future! If you’re interested and have a craving for some kind of retro throwback I’d suggest taking a look at John Mambo, you won’t be disappointed! A demo for John Mambo can be found on the Kickstarter page. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. With a planned release for Windows, Mac, Linux, Steam, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation.

David Strickland
Just an average gamer, aspiring to be a game journalist. Also a cat.