It's After the End, following World War III. The world is a mostly irradiated wasteland, broken up by the occasional settlement. The survivors living in these settlements live in constant fear of being murdered or enslaved by bandit gangs, renegade military units, and of course, mutants.
But every wasteland has a wandering hero or two. This one has Angel: A trash-talking, bow-wearing Raven Hair, Ivory Skin beauty. Her Weapon of Choice is "Old Gypsy", a heavily armored, blood-red Mustang packing twin machine guns. Notable in her "Why the hell not" attitude towards heroism. She doesn't care what happens to her, but there are plenty of people out there who "aren't ready to call it quits", so why not help them? She certainly enjoys the work.
The player controls Old Gypsy from a top down perspective, using a mouse and keyboard or Xbox 360 controller. Unlike many twin-stick shooters, the Gypsy's weapons are fixed, requiring you to steer the car to aim at enemies. There are several types of levels, with four levels per area and a total of six areas, not counting the three-level "Town of Newbs" tutorial zone. There are three kinds of enemies. "Slaver" vehicles drive straight to the towns to kidnap civilians, "Killers" come after the player, and "Duals" can do either.
The first two levels in each world have one or two towns to defend from Slavers and some Duals, whilst fending off Killers and other Duals. The third level has no town and instead has a Boss Fight, and the forth will be a Bonus Stage to round things out. Bonus levels include Survival, Checkpoint Races and Frenzy, where you must destroy as many enemies as possible in the allotted time.
Wasteland Angel provides examples of:
- Action Girl
- Body Armor as Hit Points: Armor pickups act this way.
- The Chosen One: Partway through the game, Angel receives a musty tome, which to the superstitious types of the eastern Badlands, marks her as "The Deliverer."
- Cool Car: The Gypsy, of course.
- Cyborg: The Mutant boss, a giant mutant on caterpillar treads with an Arm Cannon and a backwards trucker cap. It can only be harmed by first hitting it with an EMP, then attacking normally while it is stunned.
- Boss Fight: Three types of bosses, one per faction, each fought twice.
- EMP: One of the sub-weapons. Temporarily paralyzes every enemy currently on the map. Very useful for catching fleeing Slavers or Duals before they can escape with your civilians.
- Gatling Good: The Gypsy is shown to have Gatling guns in cut-scenes, though it instead has belt-fed machine guns in-game. It does gain a Gatling gun with upgrades.
- Land Mine Goes "Click!": Available as a sub-weapon. Rather then one mine at at time, it drops a line of them. Said line is notably thicker then in most uses of the trope, creating a literal wall of mines. You can completely encircle some towns with two or three uses, though successive waves of Slavers will quickly wear them thin. Renegade Killer humvees can drop single, weaker ones, marked with red casings so you know they aren't yours.
- Macross Missile Massacre: When fully upgraded, the Gypsy spews out a constant stream of seeking missiles as it's basic attack. You'll need it, as later levels quickly turn into Multi Mook Melees.
- Military Mashup Machine: One way to describe the Gang Boss, A massive combine harvester with dual flamethrowers and a nasty front grinder. Oddly, it can only be harmed by napalm drops.
- Mook Maker: Enemy-spawning bunkers appear in a few levels. Unique in that they continue to spawn enemies in the time between waves, though they spawn only Killers, and rather slowly.
- Mooks: Three factions, of increasing threat level: The Gangers, the Renegades and the Mutants.
- Mook Mobile: Of many kinds.
- More Dakka: The Gypsy gets bigger guns whenever you pick up a certain number of weapon upgrades. You begin with twin machine guns, which first get an upgraded fire rate. Then a Gatling gun gets added to the roof, then the machine guns become rocket launchers, which then become homing missile launchers.
- Mutant: Whats worse then Hillbilly Horrors? When they mutate.
- Nuclear Option: When all else fails, use the Nuke sub-weapon to wipe out every enemy on the map.
- Kill It with Fire: The Napalm "Super Weapon" drops a stream of flame in the Gypsy's wake, igniting and likely destroying any enemies that cross it. Gang Killer buggies can do this as well.
- The Remnant: The Renegades, a bunch of ex-military yahoos who abuse people For the Evulz.
- Power-Up: Pickups include health-restoring batteries, armor, weapon upgrades, and sub-weapons, called "Super Weapons."
- Role Called: The title is a fun bit of wordplay. Not only is her name Angel, but that's also her role: the savior of the wasteland. The Achivements for completing each area lampshade this, being called "Savior of (town name)".
- Sentry Gun: Available as a sub-weapon. Drops a large, dual-Gatling equipped turret just behind the Gypsy. Useful for defending the towns. Watch out for the red enemy version, dropped by the Mutant Killer tractors.
- Spikes of Doom: Completely Inverted. The Spike Strip sub-weapon drops a line of square, spike-studded pads. Not only do they immobilize enemies, you are completely immune to their effects.
- Tank Goodness: The Renegade Dual is a light tank, which while much slower then other foes, has a somewhat nasty turreted cannon. The other Duals have fixed weaponry. This is to say nothing of the Renegade Boss, a very large, rocket-spewing tank that can only be harmed by mines.
- Weaponized Car: All of them, save for the civilian pick-up you must occasionally escort. When it shows up, nearby Killers will divert their attention to it, away from you.