Review Shooter

Gynoug – Review

Ok, so 2021 was the Terminator 2 of solar cycles. It was built upon the solid foundation set by its predecessor, it was bigger, badder, and both had Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course, being the perfect sequel to one of the worst years in recent history means, well, 2021 was pretty god damn awful. But, there was a silver lining. Amidst the chaos, destruction, fear, and general discontent of the masses came an out-of-the-blue resurgence of Shmups. Led by the truly outstanding Cotton, and then being followed by the likes of Gley Lancer and, let’s be honest, way too much Cotton, it seemed like the genre time forgot once again shared the spotlight. Gynoug was one of these modern golden age releases. 

Originally released in 1991 on the Mega Drive/Genesis, and also being called Wings Of Wor (and no, this isn’t a typo), it garnered a cult following and then mostly got forgotten about. Until now. The question is though, is it any good?

Gyoung - Bullets Everywhere

Down To Business

Like most Shmups, there isn’t a plot here. You just get thrown into the thick of it and are expected to save something. If you dig a bit deeper (google), you’ll quickly learn that you are a winged statue who came to life to save the world from a deadly virus. That’s it really, and honestly, it’s fine. Shmups are not meant to tell compelling stories with layered characters – they are here to punch your right in the medulla.

As far as Shmups go, Gynoug is a very “by the book” horizontal shooter. You fly around the screen shooting bullets at hordes of enemies, ideally without colliding with said enemies and their bullets. Do this well enough and you’ll encounter a boss. Repeat this process over a handful of levels, and you hit the credits. 

To spice things up, Gynoug has a magic system that lets you throw out several powerful attacks to help you out when things get tough. You can also upgrade your shot to cover a wide area, giving the game a nice sense of progression. All in all, it should take you about 20-30 minutes to complete a full run, and this is the perfect length.

Despite its simple mechanics, Gynoug is pretty damn fun to play. The game throws waves of popcorn enemies at you at regular intervals to crank up the adrenaline between the more difficult segments. Which, for the record, can get pretty damn difficult. Bullet density and speed are pretty high, meaning death is more or less a certainty. I also found the controls to be a little bit off, making maneuvering more difficult than it should be.


What sells Gynoug is the art style. Gynoug is disgusting, alien, and downright disturbing at times – and I loved it. Enemy designs are out of this world, with flying monkey heads, rain clouds that cry viscera, and loads of phallic imagery erupting from the screen. Bosses in particular are these hideous fleshy steampunk amalgamations. One of the later bosses is an old man with a dingus so mammoth in scale, that he was able to ride it like a colossal, throbbing stallion. Its length is rivaled only by my loquaciousness. On death, he falls off of his own penis – it’s truly a sight to behold.

Moving away from titanically erect old men, the backgrounds are fantastic, with multiple layers of parallax scrolling and varied designs. You’ll go from the open skies to factories, to ruins, to the moist orifices only the most depraved would want to spelunk. There’s an overreliance on browns and dank, but Gynoug manages to stick with you on a visual level.

The same cannot be said for the soundscape, however. The music in Gynoug is underwhelming. None of the tracks seem to go anywhere or evoke any kind of emotion. It was just droning chiptunes with no sense of style or purpose. Sound effects don’t hold up either, often being grating and unpleasant to the ear.

Gyoung - Shooting Giant Face


Gynoug has a few extra bits thrown in to make it more palatable for the modern audience. Most notably, save states and a rewind function. Both are easy to use, and both are perfect for practicing tricky segments. It also allows players to brute force their way to the end, which is valid, if only to see the game’s bestiary of carbunctious critters. There are also unlockable cheats and screen filter options for those looking to nail that 90’s CRT look.


Gynoug is an experience. The gameplay is fine, it does the job and has just enough added gubbins to keep it feeling mostly fresh. The star of the show, however are the visuals. This game comes from a time long forgotten – where dripping, throbbing, scrolling, and pulsating was just an everyday occurrence. For that reason alone, providing the price is right, it’s worth a gander. Aside from that? If you are a fan of Shmups, then Gynoug should satisfy.


Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, XBox

If you would like to see more Shooters, you may be interested in our review of Cotton Reboot.

Many thanks go to Ratalaika Games for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.

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