The Gunstringer is a Kinect third-person rail shooter/platformer hybrid developed by Twisted Pixel and published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 on September 13, 2011. Players take control of the undead marionette Gunstringer as he sets off to deal revenge on his posse (who betrayed him and left him to die). The game takes place in the context of a puppet show, with elements such as a real life audience.
Using the Kinect hardware, players control both the Gunstringer himself (using one hand to jump and move around obstacles, as well as shifting in and out of cover) and his weaponry (using the other hand to aim and fire his revolver (after painting targets in similar vein to Rez), fire his shotgun, or punch obstacles). A second player can join in co-operatively as the Gunstringer's second revolver. This is one of the few Kinect games that do not require the player to stand and move his/her body around the room.
The Gunstringer was originally announced as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade title, before being changed to a full retail release (including a code to download Fruit Ninja Kinect for free). The game was later bundled (along with Fruit Ninja Kinect and Kinect Adventures!) in the Kinect 2011 Holiday Bundle. The game also has both free and paid downloadable content, including a full-motion video parody of Mad Dog McCree and a Duck Hunt inspired target shooter.
The Gunstringer was a member of a posse that double crossed and killed him, burying his carcass under six feet of Texas clay. After being pulled back to life by the player, the Gunstringer seeks revenge on the members of the posse that betrayed him: The Inflatable Wavy Tube Man, the Baron, the Madame, the Master, and the Lady of the Dead.
His quest for vengeance takes him through the wild west, the bayou and areas of New Orleans, a Samurai Western play, and Day of the Dead celebrations. On his travels he meets a wide cast of supporting characters like the Gatorjack (a half man, half lumberjack abomination), a corrupt sheriff, and a samurai kite dragon.
The Gunstringer primarily uses a two hand control system. The player's left hand is used for traversal through the environment, dodging and jumping over objects. The player's right hand uses a Rez-style paint and fire system to highlight up to six targets, then shoot those targets by moving the player's right hand up to their shoulder as if they were experiencing recoil.
These controls can change during gameplay. Some examples of this include a "shootout" mode where the player moves in and out of cover with the left hand, and a "dual gun" mode where the player is on rails and each hand controls a different gun.
The Gunstringer allows players to download extra content and new game modes via the "Download Content" menu:
- The Wavy Tube Man Chronicles (Free, September 13th 2011): In this add-on, Wavy Tube Man Jr. steals a time machine to prevent his father's death at the hands of the Gunstringer. The entire add-on is FMV in the style of games like Mad Dog McCree, and features actors like Wiley Wiggins (Dazed and Confused) and Lloyd Kaufman (Troma Films).
- Real Big Shootin' (240 MSP, December 15th 2011): Real Big Shootin' is a Duck Hunt inspired add-on. Over 13 rounds, players need to tackle waves of enemies and sets of gameplay variants in order to take down Mad Dog McDog.
- El Diablo's 'Merican Adventure (240 MSP, March 13, 2012): El Diablo, husband of the Lady of the Dead, takes part in his own story, revisiting level portions from the original game, as well as entirely new areas.
On September 18, Twisted Pixel released the soundtrack for The Gunstringer. The soundtrack is broken up into five parts. The first part is the Classic Western section.
|2.||Whistle While You Work||1:50|
|5.||Storm's a Brewin'||0:42|
|6.||Circle the Wagons||1:33|
|8.||Wavy Tube Man Battle||1:36|
|9.||Oil Baton Battle||1:25|
|1.||Settin' the Mood||0:56|
|3.||Rollin' Down the River||2:40|
|4.||St. Louis Stompers||0:36|
|5.||We've Got a Bond||1:13|
|6.||Brothel Madame Battle||2:00|
|5.||Kite Dragon Battle||1:09|
|6.||Beard Master Battle||1:21|
Day of the Dead Act
|2.||Vaya Con Dios||2:06|
|4.||Descent Into Hell||1:46|
|5.||Lady of the Dead Battle||1:38|
The last part has one song that play at the end of the game.
|1.||Cowboy's Last Ride||4:20|