Hillbilly Doomsday

The TurboGrafx-16 was an unorthodox little system. Outside of its absurd spelling, the platform featured cool graphics, with many games boasting big ol’ sprites for their characters. But the games were also offbeat and kooky. You had Bonk’s Adventure, JJ & Jeff, Splatterhouse, and many other unique little gems. They weren’t necessarily good games — some titles were just okay, but you could still call them gems for daring to be a little different.

Hillbilly Doomsday (from Uncle Frost Team and Sometimes You) would’ve definitely fit right in on the TurboGrafx-16 alongside titles like Air Zonk and Bomberman ‘93. It’s not that the game is amazing or anything — but it does have its moments. Also, that sprite work is pretty great.

Hillbilly Doomsday Gameplay

The entire time I played Hillbilly Doomsday, I couldn’t help but fixate on how it would probably make an awesome movie. I’m a big fan of dumb, schlocky, gory horror, and despite it’s quirky pixelated look, Hillbilly Doomsday is totally a horror story. There are zombies invading the countryside. Killer tomatoes are taking over the farmland. Aliens are burning down the city. One level even takes place inside a giant monster. Thank goodness for splatter horror!

As great as its themes and detailed pixel art may be, playing Hillbilly Doomsday can be a bit hit-or-miss. It’s definitely fun in parts, if a bit brainless. The first few levels are especially decent. It isn’t long before it all starts to get a bit repetitive, though. The platforming is basic, and you’ve got a shovel to perform hack-and-slash attacks with, as well as a gun to fire at enemies from afar. This all works well, but the package around it wears out its welcome fairly quickly.

Hillbilly Doomsday Boss Fight

After each level, you can purchase armor upgrades and new firearms, but these don’t make things much better. The game has a decent level of challenge to it at first, and each of the six levels is nice and lengthy, lasting anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes from start to finish. The problem is that Hillbilly Doomsday lives and dies by its mindlessness. Even the boss battles are more tedious than anything due to just how spammy they are. Most bosses can be defeated if you camp somewhere and just fire away.

There are six levels in Hillbilly Doomsday, and it’ll take you a little under two hours to beat the game, which makes for a quick playthrough. Strangely, the last two levels lean even more heavily on the brutish nature of the gameplay. Where the first four stages feature platforming and combat that, while not deep, still makes sense, the last two levels just throw endless waves of enemies at you without actually challenging you. I basically ran from left to right holding down the attack button for those two levels.

Hillbilly Doomsday Switch

I didn’t hate playing Hillbilly Doomsday, but I probably wouldn’t pick it up again after finishing it. It’s okay, but it’s simply too mindless for its own good. That said, I could totally see this game having a small cult following. It’s not a terrible game, but it’s far from great and mostly borders on average. But hey, it probably would’ve made a cool little TurboGrafx-16 game!

Disclaimer: I was given a review code for Hillbilly Doomsday on Nintendo Switch, but the opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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