by: Vblank Entertainment
Shakedown: Hawaii by Canadian studio Vblank Entertainments is a 16-bit 1980s retro crime epic that combines Grand Theft Auto style action with business simulation RPG elements.
Gameplay 90%Shakedown: Hawaii is the long anticipated sequel to Retro City Rampage, a 8-bit retro Grand Theft Auto style game that not only packed the fun of open world chaos on many different platforms, but was self-ware with funny pop culture jabs, easter eggs, and hilarious references to other games and films of the retro time period. Shakedown: Hawaii takes us to the 16-bit era, and merges the 1980s with our current time period for a funny but also insanely fun sandbox crime epic. Shakedown: Hawaii follows the premise that the protagonist from the first game is now much older and has turned into a rich businessman who finds himself in serious financial distress when the world changes around him. His company flops and he’s forced to make some changes to his business strategy in order to get ahead. His plan? Threaten businesses, purchase property, and own the city. What follows is a hilarious and mission-packed storyline that has you controlling three different characters as you try to grow your once large empire. The “shakedown” portion of the name comes into play when you attempt to extort businesses and force them to pay for “protection”. The really surprising element of the game is that you can purchase basically every single business in the city. Almost every chunk of land, even homes, are up for grabs. As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to buy cars (or steal them), unlock an entire arsenal of crazy weapons, change your clothing, and rack up insane amounts of profit that you receive from your owned businesses. Shakedown: Hawaii is best described as a retro GTA clone with business elements.
Graphics 80%Shakedown: Hawaii is a beautiful game with vibrant and colorful 16-bit artwork. The game is a throwback to the games of yesterday. Some of the best elements of the game are the destructible environments, allowing you to wreak havoc on everything from fences to palm trees. The game sports wonderful and detailed character animations with many different car designs. Some of the NPCs that you see roaming about the large city can become repetitive but that never becomes too much of a problem.
Production Quality 80%Shakedown has a massive amount of missions in the game, with everything from platformer style levels, to puzzles. You can never get bored with the story mode. One of the best modes however is the free roam mode that returns from Retro City Rampage, allowing you to freely roam the open world and cause chaos with no restrictions. In terms of sound, Shakedown: Hawaii features a fantastic soundtrack of 16-bit era music and sound effects that match it’s arcade theme. From the different gun sounds to the coin collecting sound effect, everything is new yet feels very retro.
Value for your Money 92%Shakedown: Hawaii is a rare indie gem. It’s well priced for such a jam-packed game. I’ve had hours of fun just playing in free roam mode alone. But the 5+ hours you will get from the main story mode and the different challenges will make sure you get the extra bang for your buck. Shakedown is the perfect game at it’s current price range.
SummaryIf you enjoy retro games or Grand Theft Auto style games, you simply cannot beat Shakedown: Hawaii. If you played the first game Retro City Rampage you definitely owe it to yourself to play this fantastic sequel. It should be noted you won’t need to play the first one though in order to enjoy this game. Shakedown is not only just a fantastic crime game, but also a great business simulator. Pros
- Amazing 16-bit graphics
- Many different missions and challenges
- Free roaming mode
- Repetitive NPC sprites
- No mobile version yet