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Name: Gunners Broom (93.16% in 19 votes)
Type: ACT
Platform: WINDOWS
Company: Studio B-Room
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Lamuness

Gunners Broom, when first released in Japan, quickly got into the top 10 Hgame rankings. After playing the game myself for quite awhile (and after replaying the game from scratch because the bug fix patch erases all save files) I can see why the game is that popular.

Gunners Broom is a shooting game. It's sort of like Parodius in that it is a side-wide plane shooting game with cute and wacky enemies flying again and you have to shoot them off. The story is about the world which is created by the elemental forces of fire, earth, wind, water, and plants. The game takes place in a magical island called Mirodia, there the five forces are sealed in crystal balls. An evil scientist breaks the seal of these elements and wants to use these powers to his own advantage, and things start to get havoc. You play the role of a apprentice witch, and you have to help re-seal the forces by flying in your broom and defeat monsters ranging from bats to octopus to dragons to machines.

Although Gunners Broom may look like Parodius, it has many original features that makes the game stand out. First of all, you can change your "gun" in different elemental attack attributes, and some elements are stronger against certain enemies than others (hint: blue indicates the least damage, green the most, red normal). This becomes very important when you deal with bosses. Your shots can also level up which gives you wider ranges and more attack power. Enemies will drop money when you shoot them down and you can use these cash to buy items such as elemental bombs, shields, 1-ups at stores in towns. Also added to this shooter is the RPG element where you get experience points when you take down an enemy and your attack power and item capacity will increase when you level up. In addition there is the AVG content, where between stages you can go around the island and visit towns and places to get information and buy goods.

One good thing about Gunners Broom is that it supports Gamepads, so I don't have to risk destroying my keyboard by repeating pressing the same button a million times (personally, I would NOT play any action game if it doesn't support Gamepads). As a shooter, Gunners Broom has some really damn nice graphics. The multi-scroll background as well as the sprite animation is incredibly smooth, and there is no lagging in the game at all. I didn't expect such good quality in a PC-platform based shooting game. The CGs are of high quality, and the SD characters are cute and well designed. The music is very nice, with voices in all events as well as entertaining and appropiate background music (sorta like Parodius music). However, one thing I have to say about this game is that Gunners Broom is WAY TOO CUTE to be an Hgame. It's more like a cute shooter for girls than a game for adults. It's weird to see SD characters in Hscenes, and I think it's slightly inappropiate for cuteness in the game. I think it will be just as good if Hscenes are taken out. However, this is just a matter of personal taste. Challenge-wise, although you can set the difficulty level, do not underestimate the AI in Gunners Broom. Sometimes I think the game is running too fast and too fast for me to react when there is a lot of enemies flying around with random shots out of my broom as well as bouncing coins all over the screen (even when set to Easy level). It just gets confusing at times, which of course makes you much more vulnerable to getting hit. The last stage will definitely make your eyes go crazy. Also, a total of 5 stages is too little for a shooting game.

Even though it's a very short game (only 5 stages), Gunners Broom overall is a really nicely made and incredibly fun, interesteing, and innovative shooter designed for the PC-platform. It's like a shooter-hybrid-RPG-hybrid-AVG game. There are a lot of nice features of the game that makes Gunners Broom deserves its top-10 ranking. If you do not mind some of the occasional mild Hscenes, I am sure girls will enjoy this game as well due to its cute nature and high quality graphics and gameplay. If interested, you can download a playable demo from Studio B-Room's website.
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