DEATHRUN TV – Game Review

Merge Games is no stranger to the cloud, with Foreclosed being the first title they published in the cloud. Now, almost a year later, we see their second release: DEATHRUN TV – a frantic twin-stick shoter, developed by Laser Dog, with lots of charm and customization. Just like Foreclosed, the game makes its debut in the Stadia Store as a Pro title. To appreciate the developers hard work, we’ve decided to review DEATHRUN TV and let it take the spotlight.

Image from the Backstage of DEATHRUN TV.
The game has a cute chibi art style that gets brutally gore soon. Cute!

Let’s start the game!

Better grab your Stadia controller, because you’re about to experience, according to the announcer, the Best Game Show on Earth. DEATHRUN TV takes a lot of inspiration from classic Arcade titles like Smash TV. Using the twin-stick shooter mechanics and adding a lot of random effects to keep things fresh. As we start the game, we’re greeted with the host of the show. Also forced to sign a soul a-greed-ment in order to play. We can customize our player with a set of limited options. Before jumping to action, there’s a tutorial in order to get familiar with the controls and movement. Aside from the standard movement and shooting, we can dodge and even use a limited resource of bombs, to get rid of enemies in dire situations.

Once the tutorial is finished, we are transferred to the backstage. A special area where we can change some options, prepare ourselves with weapons and abilities, and customize our characters. When we’re all set, it’s time to enter the arena. Before that, we must go through the entrance hallway, where the narrator introduces us while the spectators cheer for us. After all, it’s all a game, and we’re just another player. Making our way to the show in order to satisfy the public demands. It somewhat feels, intentional or not, as a commentary of modern media and human fascination with horrible things in entertainment.

Image of DEATHRUN TV, a twin-stick shooter.
DEATHRUN TV has a vast diversity of enemies with unique abilities.

Lots of replay value

Every playthrough of DEATHRUN TV has the player running around a set of randomized stages cataloged in Studios. At the end of each Studio, there’s a frantic boss fight. Also, there are some secrets to discover between runs.

As we comb through the different stages, we find Fans. NPCs that are trapped in the stages. If we decide to help them reach their exit, we’ll get additional power-ups, weapons and items. It can be pretty challenging to rescue those survivors and lead them to their goal. However, the reward makes it so we have to make a decision: help the others and hope to get a useful reward, or avoid the risk of getting hit.

Likes act as a high-score system, granting us points for performing certain actions. Also, there’s a multiplier that augments the amount of Likes we get when we’re performing better. There’s also a Kills counter that totals at the end of the game. Both unlock new items and cosmetics, just to keep things fresh. Great way to give the player more options to dispatch the enemies and try new weapons and abilities.


Overall, DEATHRUN TV is a frantic twin-stick shooter with a lot of replay value. Don’t let the cutesy art style fool you. The game is filled with chaotic fun, just like other bullet hell games. The amount of abilities, weapons and customization are great. On top of that, the procedurally generated stages grant almost infinite replay value, especially with the high score system. The mild difficulty curve, will sure keep us engaged and trying to improve our skills.

Even though DEATHRUN TV has a voting system that further randomizes the game, at the moment it’s not compatible with Stadia’s Crowd Choice. It would be great if Laser Dog and Merge Games took the time to implement the feature. This way, streamers that stream the game to YouTube via Stadia, could let viewers choose options to spice up the gameplay.

Despite the current lack of Crowd Choice, the game still holds up well and will surely bring a lot of playtime to players that enjoy Action games. Specially those that like titles like Enter the Dungeon, Nuclear Throne or even shmups.

You can purchase DEATHRUN TV at the Stadia Store, or claim it at no additional cost with Stadia Pro.



Fun Factor


DEATHRUN TV is a twin-stick shooter with a lot of replay value. Don’t let the cutesy art style fool you. The game is filled with chaotic fun.




Marxally is a freelance graphic designer who enjoys playing video games and writing about them. A Nintendo fan at heart that enjoys the benefits of cloud gaming and loves its amazing community. Marxally covers news and review games at Cloud Dosage. Like what he does? Buy Marxally a Pizza!

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