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PAX EAST 2014 | Guns And Blades Are A-Blazing In “Secret Ponchos”

Posted on April 12, 2014 AT 09:05am

Last June, during Sony’s PlayStation 4 conference at E3, they had announced that three indie titles would be free for the first month of their releases. One of those titles was Secret Ponchos, an overhead shooter with a cool western vibe to it. At PAX East this year Switchblade Monkeys had the multiplayer madness in full force, with gamers surrounding the booth trying to go hands-on with their PS4 debut title.

During my time with Secret Ponchos I was given the chance to play two rounds of the game, which gave the option of trying two of the five playable characters. My first time playing I had chosen Kid Red, a twin-pistoled dynamite throwing gunslinger who could be the twin brother of Gorillaz’s 2D. Playing as Kid Red I was shown the ropes as to how to use my weaponry to my greatest advantage. I could use my pistols and take down the enemy two shots at a time, or I could save my ammo and shoot singularly.

While more damage could be done when going twin-pistoled there’s also the slight chance that your shots will miss, meaning you’ve wasted double the amount of bullets in a shorter amount of time. When I ran out of bullets I found myself hightailing it to safety while Kid Red took his time reloading his guns. I decided halfway through the round to switch to my dynamite supply, which was a little bit tough to aim at while all the other players were running around silly-nilly. Nevertheless when one of my sticks finally took out one of the other players the end result was indeed satisfying.

For the second round of play though I chose The Killer, who has a similar shooting style to that of Kid Red. Instead of dynamite, though, his secondary weapons was a Hunter’s Knife, which could be used to throw or perform a melee attack with. While The Killer lacked the speed of Kid Red, he had more control and precision when it came to his attacks. There was also the added advantage of having a bigger reach when it came to his attacks. Using the Hunter’s Knife in close range proved to be effective in the long run, although it made me an easy target for the likes of The Matador and Phantom Poncho.

Secret Ponchos takes a little bit getting used to playing control-wise, as you’ll find yourself using both control sticks at the same time (one to move, another to aim). Fortunately switching weapons was a breeze, as it helped to jump from one to another even in-between a showdown. That being said, depending on who you play against, you’ll be on your toes throughout the entire round as you take on your opponents. Believe me when I say that a first place victory can be snatched away quickly from your grasps.

Secret Ponchos is due to be released later this year on PS4 and Steam. Those with PS+ will be able to download the game for free when it’s released, meaning that Switchblade Monkeys’ title may have been given quite the advantage when it comes to reeling in some eager wannabe gunslingers.

An accomplished music, anime, and video game critic, Evan Bourgault has been a Contributing Editor and Podcast host with ElectricSistaHood since 2008. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Follow Evan on Twitter at

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