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The Outfoxies (Arcade)

Long before Nintendo had the idea of having its characters jump around platform deathtraps shooting each other in the face and hitting each other with bats, Namco had the same plan. The difference is that their implementation of it was way, way more awesome.

The Outfoxies is a simple tale: a group of assassins is pitted against one another, and only one can survive. Players must navigate levels based on real-world environments and use their wits and an arsenal of weapons to kill each other deader than cow pies. Its how this is achieved that makes Outfoxies remarkable. Players not only shoot, stab, and grenade one another, they can use everything in their environment as well. For instance, as you fight your opponent on top of a building, the roof gives way. You fall into a restaurant and fling scalding soup and champagne bottles at one another. Meanwhile, the building is flooding, and electrified water is rising toward you. In the circus level, you can machine-gun clowns and circus elephants, knock you enemy into the tiger pen, or sucker-punch the ringmaster and take his bullwhip. If your adversary counters you, you can escape via trampoline, and of course, the clown-launching cannon is fully functional. Perhaps the most amazing level is an airplane, with mannable gun turrets and a pilot’s chair from which you can actually control the pitch of the level- sending your enemy hurtling to an early death if you’re lucky. As you battle, bits of the plane give way, creating deadly pitfalls. The cargo hold is even full of sliding crates that can crush the unwary.

As awesome as having bloody gunfights while destroying vast maps full of destroyable environment and helpless animals is, Outfoxies has some problems. Hit detection with level elements, especially in the rotating airplane level, can be dodgy. The game also pans out to show more of the level as the players get further apart, and its scaling engine scrambles the screen pretty bad. That said, this game contains possibly more mayhem and undirected carnage than any game ever made and is totally worth your (and a friend’s) time.

7/10

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