A while ago we got the cool opportunity to get a new indie game from Rikodu that showed a lot of promise called Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge. This is an action-adventure title that was released on Steam back in late May that was in development for nearly three years before being released. The plot of the game is pretty simple as you play as Frankie, one of the last remaining sentient robots on planet Earth, which is now overrun by aliens and their robots which now basically rule the planet. Like a kid building a motorcycle in a bedroom, you will slowly upgrade yourself with everything you can find from junkyards to fallen enemies in order to craft a better bot and take out greater foes.
The game itself is pretty simple to grasp as you have certain parts that do things and take out enemies in different ways. You'll have to pair what you got to get the most efficient killstreak going without taking damage or wearing yourself out. A lot of this game reminds me of Gauntlet as you'll roam from area to area, taking out enemies, and destroying Powercells that are scattered throughout the level that serve as major focal points. And much like Gauntlet, this game is far better in co-op mode. As a single-player game, you'll get overrun very quickly sometimes and it leads to an early death unless you want to spend half of combat running away. As two players, you can get the job done much faster and complete your missions as needed.
The enemies in the game range from annoying to challenging. Some are basically here for the kill feed, they're drones that have been sent to die quickly and take up time to distract you from the goal. Others require some strategy, such as one that required a bit of dazing after being hit with a tennis ball launcher. That's not including bosses who require you to both strategize on how to attack them while also looking for patterns. It's your standard platformer affair, but done at a 3D level so there are options for you to take with Frankie and his co-op friend that you normally wouldn't get on a 2D plane.
While the campaign is fun and enjoyable, the real entertainment from this game is putting together your loadout. As you can see from the picture above, Frankie can be equipped with a lot of gear. You choose everything you take into battle from your body to headset to what arm does what. Everything has a cost and a bonus, meaning a bigger body will give you more health but will also make you slow. It's up to you to find a balance and determine what the best combination is headed into battle. And considering all of the things we found (as well as things we're sure we didn't find), this entire ordeal can give you hundreds of combinations you may never have thought to check out.
Overall, I enjoyed Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge. The campaign is a little short and there's some issues here and there when it comes to enemy placement and challenge. But this is basically a game to turn your brain off with a friend and go shoot aliens with for a few hours. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If anything, it's the kind of thing that should be encouraged more in gaming. I just wish there was a little more substance here and maybe some different levels to make the story feel a little more full.