The Culling Of The Cows
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

The Culling of the Cows is an action packed arcade experience with a nice visual style. Blasting the enemies requires a quick trigger finger, but the inclusion of assists and upgrades ads a strategic element to the gameplay as well. If you can appreciate a good shooter with a rather dark sense of humor you will find a lot to like about The Culling of The Cows.

Gameplay: A challenging arcade shooter that requires some strategic thinking as well.

Graphics: Nice hand-drawn visual style with plenty of detail.

Sound: The music and sound effects match the gameplay perfectly.

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

The Culling Of The Cows

Developer: Decaying Logic | Publisher: KISS ltd | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Casual / Indie / Strategy | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

The protagonist of The Culling of the Cows is Sammy, a farmer with a 12 gauge shotgun and permission from God to use it on the zombie horde that is approaching his home. Initially Sammy only has to face the undead in the form of bovine brain munchers, but humans and even birds are not far behind them.

Your goal in The Culling of the Cows is simply to defend your farm and yourself from the hordes of undead bearing down on you. Sammy merely has a shotgun to defend himself with, but fortunately it can be upgraded and he can call upon a few assists as well to help out in a pinch. The game is set across 40 levels and while things start off rather sedately you will soon find yourself scrambling to survive as the challenge ramps up.

While the game has full controller support I found it to be much easier to control with a keyboard and mouse combination simply because there are so many keys. Apart from moving Sammy and shooting you also have to press a button to reload, activate a supply drop, purchase upgrades or new bullets and call in assists. These must all be done while beating back the enemies or in the short amount of time you have between waves so you really can’t dawdle or afford to press the wrong button. It only takes one hit for Sammy to buy the farm in a spectacularly gruesome fashion and you also cannot let too many enemies get past you and into the barn or it is game over. Initially the number of enemies that are allowed to slip past you before failing is quite high, but eventually you won’t be allowed to let even one give you the slip. This is no easy task considering the sheer amount of enemies bearing down on you and the tactics that they employ to make your life miserable.

The game has a decent selection of foes and like I mentioned they each have a certain movement style that you have to learn to counter. Normal undead cows will just shamble at you in a straight line, but others will charge at full speed, zigzag across the screen drunkenly or even come packed with dynamite so you can’t shoot them when they are too close. Sammy is an old guy so his movement speed isn’t the fastest which makes things challenging without even mentioning the suicidal birds that dive-bomb you from the sky in later levels.

By himself, Sammy would never have stood a chance, but luckily he has a few tricks up his sleeve. Activating a supply drop causes a random crate to fall from the sky, which may contain power-ups such as invincibility, speed boosts, unlimited ammo or bullet time. These only last a short amount of time, but can make a big difference. It takes a while before you can activate another supply drop though, so you can’t abuse this feature to win. Supply drops can also contain money, which is added to the amount you start each level with and the cash is useful for purchasing essential upgrades. You have to reload your shotgun manually, so upgrades such as more bullet slots and faster reloading times make a big difference. Different ammo types are also available for sale with my favorite being the buckshot that allows you to hit more than one target with each shot. Finally, there are the assists, which include crazy stuff like attack helicopters, nukes, napalm, giant saw blades, bombs, flaming meteorites and machine guns to really cause some damage. Like the supply drops these have to recharge before you can use them again and not all of them are available on each level.

To provide some variety the 40 levels are split up into three different types. In wave based levels enemies attack in groups and give you a few seconds between waves to catch your breath. Then there are levels which consist of one giant wave of enemies that come at you nonstop. Finally, there are onslaught levels where Sammy wisely takes up a sniper position and has to eradicate all zombies before they can get into his barn. While Sammy is safe from harm on onslaught levels and have unlimited ammo you must still shoot non-stop unless you want to lose because of enemies charging into the barn.

The Culling of the Cows uses a unique hand drawn art style for the visuals which makes all the bloody carnage look even more twisted. It is a single screen game, but the background visuals does change between levels. The designs of the enemies are brilliant and the bloody corpses of all the fallen foes remain on the ground until the level is over which is quite a sight. The audio is also rather fitting with some nice tunes and the schizophrenic ramblings of Sammy. The sound that you will hear the most is the mooing of the cows though, which has a high probability of annoying anyone around you that is not playing the game.

In total it took me about four hours to clear all the levels in the game although some of them were optional. The game features Steam trading cards, but unfortunately no achievements which could have given it a longevity boost (the game has since been updated with achievements). The developers have promised free DLC updates in the future, which is great and will definitely add more value to the game if done correctly (Update: Level badges were added to the game and are attained by completing various challenges). While The Culling of the Cows uses a rather simple concept, it does so with a lot of style and buckets of gore. The challenging gameplay is rather addictive, especially if you are a fan of fast paced arcade-like experiences.

*Review originally published in May 2014.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7, Vista
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 Compatible
  • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Generic Sound Device
  • OS: Windows 7, Vista
  • Processor: Quad core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 Compatible
  • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Generic Sound Device

Related posts

Gal*Gun: Double Peace

Gal*Gun: Double Peace

Shooting girls with a pheromone gun in order to provide them with euphoria is every bit as strange in the game as it sounds on paper, but somehow it works. Gal*Gun: Double Peace certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it knows its audience very well, so you can expect plenty of squealing girls and fan service. However, if you look past the ecchi exterior, you’ll also find a very entertaining game with plenty of replay value. It is obviously not a title that is going to appeal to the easily offended, but if you are a fan of anime or manga and can appreciate some slightly lewd humor you’ll have fun with this game. Gameplay: On-rail shooters are still a rarity on PC and this one is a lot of fun. Graphics: Colorful and detailed, but also not without flaws. Sound: Nice soundtrack and good voice acting.

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not to Be is a faithful recreation of the original book by Ryan North, only enhanced by the Gamebook Adventures Engine from Tin Man Games. This means that there isn’t much here that’s new for people already familiar with the book. Anyone that hasn’t yet experienced the over the top interpretation of the famous tale should have lots of fun with To Be or Not To Be. The story is humorous and the artwork contributed by some very well-known artists are great. Gameplay: The story is great and with so many different endings to discover there is plenty of replay value. Graphics: Great presentation and brilliant artwork. Sound: The music is good as is the narration, although the latter can become repetitive.

Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate started off quite interesting, and had me hooked with its unique story, but by the end I was literally on the edge of my seat. Although it is quite a long game, there is literally never a dull moment. The use of a mobile phone to make choices, and branch the story is a stroke of genius, and with six different endings there is a lot of replay value. If you want to experience a visual novel with plenty of action, drama, suspense and outstanding characters, then don't miss out on Steins;Gate. Gameplay: Not only is the story excellent, but there is actually a surprising amount of choices for a visual novel. Graphics: The artwork and character designs are beautiful. Sound: The original Japanese voice acting is very good, and the music is equally great.

Home is Where One Starts

Home is Where One Starts

Help a young girl explore the lonely countryside around her childhood home when she misses her bus to school. Although very short, Home Is Where One Starts is a captivating experience with excellent narration and interesting environments. The short length along with the absence of puzzles or action means it won’t appeal to everyone, but players who enjoy more relaxing titles like Gone Home or Dear Esther will feel right at home. Gameplay: The walking speed of the protagonist is a little slow and the gameworld small, but exploring it is interesting. Graphics: The visuals are quite beautiful, but some objects lack detail when viewed up close. Sound: The soundtrack is excellent and the voice acting superb.

Super Comboman

Super Comboman

Super Comboman contains some great ideas, but is let down by less than stellar gameplay. Games such as Guacamelee! and Aces Wild have already demonstrated how great titles in the platform brawling genre can be, but Super Comboman doesn't quite live up to expectations. The controls are the biggest source of frustration and the steep difficulty curve also feels more like a punishment than a challenge. Gameplay: Lots of potential, but let down by frustrating controls and a steep difficulty curve. Graphics: The sticker style visuals is an interesting and unique choice. Sound: Not bad, but a little repetitive.

Stonekeep

Stonekeep

It was a very long wait for gamers back when Stonekeep was first announced until it was released, but it was also worth it. The game is fun to play, although some role playing purists might bemoan the lack of character customization. Stonekeep features a long quest, with plenty of great characters, but is hampered somewhat by slightly tedious combat and endless corridors that look the same. If you don’t mind the slow pace and the fact that the visuals are definitely showing their age, then you will have a lot of fun with Stonekeep. Gameplay: A fun dungeon crawler with a better than average storyline. Graphics: Obviously dated now, but back in its time the enemies and special effects were brilliant. Sound: The voice acting is surprisingly good and the music is nice and atmospheric.

Leave a comment

4 × three =