REVIEW: The Last Shot

In an otherwise first-rate dieselpunk adventure, the lack of game progress save capabilities makes The Last Shot run out of gas.

Released: Steam
Type: Single-player
Genre: Platformer
Developer: Rumata Lab
Publisher: Crytivo
Release date: 15 October, 2021


Steampunk is near and dear to my heart personally, so even though I am not very talented at platformers (despite my best efforts), The Last Shot immediately caught my attention. It turns out that the game actually is dieselpunk rather than steampunk, but dieselpunk shares enough in common with steampunk that I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, despite the many things The Last Shot does right, it currently has one fatal flaw that prevents me from recommending what otherwise seems to be a stellar puzzle platformer – no game progress save capabilities. While some players may not mind the retro aspect of starting from the beginning every single time, it is not a quality of life feature in 2021.

Game Universe

The Last Shot follows a nameless hero, an engineer who starts as simply a cog in the war machine. And yet, the store description asks, “Will you be the one small cog that brings it all to a halt?”, hinting that our nameless hero is about to play a much bigger role in his dieselpunk world. An engineer is the perfect character for puzzle-solving in a technology-based sci-fi setting, and our hero uses his handy wrench and hammer to fix machinery (or sometimes hit something until it decides to work, which is totally realistic).

This game’s take on the iconic photograph Lunch atop a Skyscraper.

Gameplay and Mechanics

The Last Shot is a 2D side-scroller puzzle platformer with gameplay and mechanics that will be familiar to those who’ve played such games before, such as run, jump, and sliding boxes. The game has full controller support, although I played with mouse and keyboard, and instructions were provided for both ways of play and all possible options. This was nice even though it was a bit confusing at first; for example, I thought that I needed to push the key simultaneously with the mouse button when it just meant either/or. Sometimes the required player actions could be a bit convoluted; for example, needing to push the button for the elevator AND the direction that the elevator should go, even when there’s only one option.

The character is an engineer, so the player will switch between the hand, a wrench, and a hammer as needed to solve puzzles. The camera can be zoomed in and out to give a more focused or broader view depending on which would be more helpful at the moment. Just as in classic genre games like the Mario franchise, sometimes items the character will need can be found in boxes. In the early parts of the game, while there are some speed and timing puzzles or aspects to play (such as needing to jump and push up to use a ladder), several of the puzzles rely more on engineering prowess, such as repairing a pipe system or getting all of the lights to turn on. There is a button that can be pressed to see clues that may help the player in solving a puzzle, but when the player first enters a new area, this feature will have a timer countdown in order to hopefully get the player to try some things out on their own before giving the clue.

This game’s rendition of the classic pipe puzzle.

There are frequent checkpoints for if the character dies. Unfortunately, as of the time of review, these checkpoints don’t seem to be utilized to record overall game progress, so if the player leaves the game and then comes back later, they will have to start over at the beginning.

Art Style and Graphics

In games with niche science fiction subgenre settings, the art is a critical component in creating the necessary ambience, and The Last Shot nails it. The hand-drawn art in the style of classic cartoons immediately sets up the retrofuturistic dieselpunk aesthetic and cluttered war-torn landscape, and industrial propaganda is seen strewn through the backgrounds. The game has visual options that can be customized, such as adding or removing white noise/static, to give just the right dieselpunk vibe (as of the time of review, all of these options will default when the game loads to a new area).

The nameless engineer hero navigates between an industrial propaganda poster and Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

Sound and Music

The sound and music immediately immerse the player in the action and dieselpunk war setting. Our character sleeps peacefully through air-raid sirens and crashing bombs, obviously used to this, but then realizes that he’s overslept and is going to be late for work. There is no voice acting or text narration, so this story is fully told by the art and sound effects that call back to classic cartoons. The music uses a lot of xylophone, which is an interesting choice of instrument to carry the track; even though xylophones are frequently used in jazz, they’re usually not the star of the show. The music slows down when the character dies, which calls back to the sound of a hand-cranked barrel piano winding down. All of the music and sound seems very promising in the early game; unfortunately due to lack of game progress save capabilities I was unable to discover if there’s any variety or repetition to the music as the story goes into new areas.


At the time of review, The Last Shot has yet to be released, so I’m unable to give an evaluation of whether or not the content offered is worth the price. However, while everything is thumbs up except for the lack of game progress save capabilities, in 2021 that is just such a huge detractor that I can’t currently recommend the game. The Last Shot is definitely worth a try for players who don’t mind that level of retro though. The publisher has said they plan to add game progress save capabilities in the future, and if they do that, I will happily update my review because so much else about the game is really awesome.

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