You might have missed this when it came out the other week, but Fashion Police Squad is a delightfully colorful little arena shooter from the indie devs at Mopeful Games. In it you’re Sergeant Des, and with sewing machine gun in hand you’re charged with uncovering a conspiracy of fashion crimes.
It might look like a goofy joke, but it had so many positive reviews that I had to try it: and underneath the fashionable exterior I found a pretty dang good game that stays funny, to boot. If you, like me, wrote this one off on appearance alone then you’re dead wrong.
The heart of Fashion Police Squad is the need to switch between weapons. Your 2DYE4 is a shotgun that paints on bright colors and drains overly-colorful outfits with a beam to supercharge, while the Tailormade sewing machine is an assault rifle that’s extra-effective against ill-fitting and baggy clothes.
You match up weapon to enemy type on the fly, dealing with the most dangerous first and working your way down. Like the best Arena shooters the most dangerous areas are almost a puzzle of skill and speed where identifying threats and knowing how to solve them is key. Fashion Police Squad’s neat movement mechanics line up with that.
You do that with your belt. By grappling the belt to items in the world around you, like flagpoles, your officer can swing to rapidly move from place to place. This lets you deal with nasty foes and evade vicious attacks like exploding briefcases or speedy melee enemies. (Bros in neon on scooters.) There’s something great about swinging past a nasty enemy as you blast them with your drip-flamethrower-thing.
It also has glory kills of a sort, because a charged up special meter lets you raise the shining glove of style and fly across big spaces slapping some ever-loving fashion sense into fashion criminals.
Does the joke stay funny? I haven’t finished it, but the entertaining bright colors and energy of Fashion Police Squad (FPS) are in truth a welcome break from the muted tones used in most retro-style shooters. (Whatever we’re calling these.)
You can find Fashion Police Squad on Steam for $20, at 10% off until August 22nd.