REVIEW: Deathwish Enforcers (Switch)

Released APR 28, 2023

Deathwish Enforcers is a 2D side scrolling action game, clearly influenced heavily by classic arcade game Sunset Riders, but with a 70s action movie theme instead of cowboys in the Wild West. The game has four player simultaneous coop, just like Sunset Riders, and each character is based on famous 70s movie characters, such as Dirty Harry, Foxy Brown and others.

MSRP: $22.99 Category: 2D Side Scrolling Beat Em Up
No of Players: 1-4Multiplayer: Couch Coop
Publisher: Limited Run GamesDeveloper: Monster Bath Studios
Reviewed on: Nintendo SwitchAlso on: PS4 & 5


Deathwish Enforcers is meant to be a spiritual sequel of sorts to Sunset Riders, and as such its visuals are near perfection. The environments and characters simultaneously look straight out of the 90s yet also capture the 70s aesthetic they were going for.

Great design, smooth animations and graphics seem to sit somewhere between the visuals of the SNES and arcade versions of Sunset Riders.

Being an indie game, the graphics are very impressive, but after playing for a while you can tell there are still little areas that could have been even further refined. That being said, it really nails the aesthetic it was going for and feels like it could have been in a 90s arcade (in a good way).


The audio in Deathwish Enforcers is its strongest suit.

The music feels straight out of 70s action movies, yet also has a Streets of Rage-ish vibe to it that really puts it with the best of the best coming out of the 90s (even though it didn’t). Honestly the entire soundtrack is extremely well crafted and you can tell a lot of love and attention went into creating the best music they could.

The sound effects are also on point and extremely fitting for a game in a 90s arcade. As a spiritual successor to Sunset Riders, the sounds couldn’t be more perfect.


Deathwish Enforcer’s gameplay is also very well developed an authentic to a 90s-type arcade game experience. Most of the controls are very tight and each character has a unique weapon and set of strengths that make playing with each one feel different enough that its worth playing through it with each of them.

Unlike Sunset Riders though, each character also has a screen-clearing special move that can be powered up by collecting a symbol dropped by certain enemies, like in the original Streets of Rage. If you get killed before you can use it though, you lose the ability.

The stages and gameplay also have a great amount of variety, from side scrolling shooting levels, to driving stages, and it even has a bonus stage where you “interrogate” (read: beat the snot out of) an informant to get information.

Overall the gameplay is tight and very well developed. There are just a few nuances that hold it back from being perfect. There are slight timing issues and sometimes the character’s responses don’t feel quite as quick and tight as they could have been (which lead to many deaths – more on that in a second) but overall, especially as an indie title, Deathwish Enforcers’ gameplay is excellent.

Here is some of my gameplay from Deathwish Enforcers on Nintendo Switch:

For a reminder of how Sunset Riders looked, here is some of my recent gameplay from the Super Nintendo version:


Most importantly though is the fun factor. Is Deathwish Enforcers fun?

Yes…but the nature of the arcade-like gameplay generally means death will come quickly and often as you try to juggle all the various enemies the game throws at you.

The gameplay is very tight, so most often you know that death was all your fault, but there are a few instances when I felt like my character didn’t do what I told them to, or didn’t react quick enough when I pressed the buttons, which led to even more deaths. In general the game is fun enough this won’t be a problem, but don’t be surprised if you rage quit more than once.

That being said, the game does take pitty on the poor player and allows you to restart at the previous stage (which is actually the previous checkpoint) so that makes the frequent deaths a bit more bearable.

The frequent deaths and frustration with slight control issues take away from the fun a bit, but overall its a great game.


Deathwish Enforcers was certainly a sleeper hit for me. I didn’t even realize it was a spiritual successor to Sunset Riders until I played it for a bit.

Building on that pedigree but changing it enough to make a new and fresh experience makes Deathwish Enforcers a joy to experience, and for fans of Sunset Riders or just 90s arcade games in general, Deathwish Enforcers is a must buy.

For other gamers, especially those who didn’t grow up in 90s arcade (or don’t have fond memories of it) you might want to try Deathwish Enforcers before you buy it. It’s still definitely worth experiencing, and you might still fall in love with it, but it can be difficult and frustrating from time-to-time, so just keep that in mind.

** On a side note for parents: there are several mature themes in the game, starting right in the first level as you track down “The Porn King”. When you reach the boss of the first level there is a adult film studio scene setup (but no action is taking place) and there are nude girls standing around. In general this game was made for older, more mature gamers, so just keep that in mind.**





All Other Gamers

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