Buckshot Roulette

Posted:  Apr 05, 2024
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Buckshot Roulette was provided by Critical Reflex for review. Thank you!

Following the release of itch.io last year, developer Mike Klumbnika has brought his sleeper hit, Buckshot Roulette, to Steam. And for the small scale, it is more fun than I expected. With how small it is, this is going to be a much shorter review than usual, but regardless, I absolutely recommend it for the $3 price tag based on the aesthetic, gameplay loop, and the future content coming to the game, including a full multiplayer mode.

Buckshot Roulette is based on the simple concept of Russian Roulette but with a shotgun. You have live and blank rounds inserted into a shotgun in a random order. Then, you can choose to either shoot yourself or your opponent. If you choose yourself, and it's a blank, you get another turn, but if you shoot yourself with a live round or the opponent with either type of round, it changes turns. Whoever gets shot loses a life, and if you lose all of your lives...well, you lose the game!

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Buckshot Roulette is essentially just this but with some slight twists. There are three rounds you play against your opponent, "The Dealer," and the last two rounds add in items that have special effects when used, which add another neat layer of strategy. You can regain health, deal double damage, check the current slug in the shotgun, stop another person's turn, or even eject whatever round is in there. It's a simple gameplay loop, but it's a lot of fun, and for the price, it feels very worthwhile. There is also a "Double or Nothing" endless mode that unlocks when you win once, so even when you beat the original mode with an ending, you can do more.

The world that's built around this is very small, dark, and gritty. You wake up in a half-destroyed bathroom, go out into a room with a guy standing on a walkway overlooking what seems to be a club, and then head into the Roulette room. It all makes me think of Inscryption the way it is styled, but it is more linear. The atmosphere created with this visual style mixed with the audio is wonderful and works perfectly in the context of this game.

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That's essentially the entire game. However, there is more content and a full multiplayer mode coming soon, which will make it a bit more worthwhile overall to play in the longer term. To make things better, playing on the Steam Deck is quite easy.

Buckshot Roulette - Steam Deck Performance

For a small game like Buckshot Roulette, I expected it to run quite well on the Steam Deck. And thankfully, it does...for the most part. This is a smaller game that first appeared on itch.io, and I expected 90 FPS with a lower battery drain, preferably under 10W. While the game can hold 60, it doesn't do so with a low battery drain, hanging around 11W - 12.5W when playing the bulk of the game and sitting at around 14W in the area right before walking into the roulette room.

Now, for how short the game is, it isn't the biggest deal, but it's still worth noting. The controls can also feel a little wonky since you only control with the Dpad to select (and I kept wanting to use the joystick), but it isn't horrible either.


Since this is a smaller game, there aren't many settings to change. You can change audio volume and languages and rebind controls, but that's about it.

There is no 16:10 resolution support, so there are some black bars above and below, but there is controller support. There is no cloud save or HDR support, but with a game of this scale, it doesn't really need either.


Buckshot Roulette is a small yet satisfying game that justifies its price tag thanks to the quality of the overall package. It takes a simple concept, Russian Roulette, and puts an engaging spin on it using a shotgun, items, and a gritty setting. It all works together well, and with the new content/multiplayer coming and endless mode, I am having a blast. And it plays quite well on the Steam Deck, even if it drains more than I expected.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Buckshot Roulette is a small game that justifies its $3 price tag with an addicting loop and great atmosphere, and it is very playable on the Steam Deck.


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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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