Gunpey (1999)

by Christopher
5 minutes read


With its unique panel-switching mechanic and escalating difficulty, Gunpey (1999) offers a refreshing and engaging puzzle-solving experience. Its legacy as a creative and challenging game continues to resonate with fans around the world.


Released exclusively in Japan, Gunpey has garnered a dedicated following for its challenging puzzles and distinctive style. The game’s innovative panel-switching mechanic provides a fresh take on the puzzle game formula, offering endless hours of entertainment.


The game is set in the wild west, and your goal is to connect pieces of fuses to get one long fuse going across the board, making it explode and disappear. There are several game modes in Gunpey, such as the classical puzzle game modes “Endless mode”, where you can either play until you mess up or timed, either for 2 or 5 minutes.

In Gunpey, players aim to clear tiles of line fragments from the 5×10 grid playfield by swapping them with a vertical cursor and forming lines from one end of the playfield to the other. The game itself features a cartoony anthropomorphic Wild West theme, with its main story about a frog named Vincent aiming to rescue a cat named Sherry from a group of outlaws.

The game consists of a board five tiles wide. Tiles which contain one of four different lines (connecting at the top or bottom corner on the left and right sides) move up from the bottom of the board. Tiles can be moved by a cursor which covers two vertical tile areas. Moving the cursor will “flip” the tiles that the cursor covers. By positioning the tiles so that a line is created which goes across the screen, those tiles will disappear and you will score points. The longer the lines, the more points are scored. Tiles will continue to move up from the bottom of the board until a tile reaches the top of the screen, at which point the game is over.

The game received an enhanced console port by TOSE for the Sony PlayStation on December 16, 1999. This version received its own arcade port by Banpresto in 2000. Along with a special themed version of the game (Tarepanda no Gunpey, featuring the San-X character Tarepanda), the game itself received three handheld sequels, including Gunpey EX for the WonderSwan Color, Oto o Tsunagou! Gunpey Rebirth for the Nintendo DS (which received an international release as Gunpey DS), and Gunpey-R for the PlayStation Portable (which received an international release as Gunpey). Neither of these games use the same cartoonish anthropomorphic Wild West theme as the original.


As a puzzle game, Gunpey does not feature characters in a traditional sense. The focus is solely on the gameplay mechanics and the player’s ability to solve increasingly complex puzzles.


Gunpey’s gameplay revolves around flipping panels to connect lines across a five-column grid. Failure to clear lines in time results in the grid filling up, ending the game. This simple concept is executed with a level of depth that keeps players engaged and challenged.


Gunpey remains an underrated gem in the puzzle game genre, offering a distinctive and challenging experience. Its innovative gameplay and enduring appeal make it a must-play for fans of strategic puzzle games.

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