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Xbox One Game Review

Bartlow's Dread Machine


Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Beep Games, Inc.
Developer: Tribetoy / Beep Games, Inc.
RRP: £12.49
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Age Restrictions: 7+
Release Date: 29 September 2020

An artifact from the past returns in Bartlow's Dread Machine, a long-forgotten game from the dawn of the Electric Age. Dread Machine is a dual stick arcade shooter with single player and couch co-op modes, six scintillating game worlds and a cast of improbable monsters and historical characters...

Review imageFans of Steampunk will really love what the developers have conjured up with Bartlow's Dread Machine. The game is based around the construction of a Victorian sideshow clockwork arcade game from a Steampunk universe. Within the confines of this relic from the dawn of the Electric Age, Bartlow’s Dread Machine casts one to two players as government agents in a series of escapades through New York, San Francisco, and beyond, as they seek to rescue the kidnapped President Roosevelt from the forces of evil.

Bound to the clockwork gizmos running this contraption, agents are mere metal figurines roving around on rails. But these aren’t any ordinary tin toys as they have free rein on how to navigate these forking networks of tracks.

In this side scrolling action game it's simply a case of making your way through the levels, shooting any enemies in your way (don't forget to pick up any cash they drop) until you reach the boss level. Cash you collect helps to unlock better firearms and cosmetic upgrades.

Review imageI'm divided by this game. My first reaction was what a beautifully detailed and uniquely stylised game it was. However after only a few hours of play I was starting to tire of the rather bland repetition of it all. And when I reached the first boss my heart sank at the thought it was merely going to be a fight through the levels to the next boss style of game.

Thankfully it retails at such a low price point that it's worth a gamble if you're looking for something that stylistically looks a little different.


Nick Smithson

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£15 Xbox Live Credits