Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness – Let’s Protectorize, Guys!

Retro-throwback is a popular aesthetic these days. Turns out, detailed 2D pixel art, jammin’ chiptune soundtracks, and pick-up-and-playability are timeless. One under-the-radar series that’s been rocking the retro aesthetic is Gotta Protectors, a multiplayer overhead action/tower defense/real-time strategy fusion that’s earned fervent fans. Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness is the series’ latest entry, and it’s a frenetically fun and strategic adventure alone or with up to three companions.

The world of Gotta Protectors is one of those video game fantasy universes where hordes of monsters are always attacking, placing the kingdom in peril. Fortunately, the kingdom has Princess Lola and her magical banner that can heal and protect all of her subjects… except for herself. That’s a pretty fatal flaw, but fortunately, she’s got a guardian army: the Gotta Protectors, a motley gang of warriors and weirdos whose purpose is to keep Lola from harm (and quench her thirst for monster blood by proxy). And Lola needs to be kept safe from all harm, because there’s one other power she wields: a shriek of frustration that can destroy everything.

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From the outset, it’s clear that Gotta Protectors does not take itself very seriously. Your gang of Protectors consists of a variety fantasy classes, each with something a little off about them. This includes an obnoxiously smug archer, an old paladin trying to relive his glory days by riding a toy horse, a ninja whose quest for unencumbered speed has left him practically naked, a mystic whose anti-social nature leaves you wondering whose side she’s really on, and an amazon who is what the kids these days call “thicc,” among others. Adding to their humor is the fact that they’re all aware that they’re in a video game, breaking the fourth wall and making deliberately-cringey 90’s pop culture and game references. Princess Lola, despite being so helpless that she can’t even move by herself, gives them somewhat backhanded encouragement while gleefully reveling in their monster murder. The bizzare, humorous atmosphere and charming visual Easter eggs scattered throughout (try pressing X on the pause screen) are a delight, and help make Cart of Darkness stand out among similar retro-styled games.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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