If you are not new to the this site you will know damn well I am not nice to game just because I am asked to be, I am nice to a game solely based on its merits. Fast forward to recent history, when I was directly contacted via twitter to review this game I was both excited (little bit of an ego boost) and nervous (what if its not any good, this is going to be awkward as fuck).
But, as it was essentially a game reviewing recognition milestone, I gave it a go. You can see our first play here.
This game is in still in development at the moment, with an as yet unspecified release on Steam but its six month in to development with a bit of a ways to go. With that in mind, it has no plot or premise as to why you are a shooty little ship, but the second level did make comments on how things ‘never used to be this way’.
Its not a bad little game but it needs some refining.
Seven weapons seems just too many and adds an unnecessary layer of the complication to gameplay. It would have been more of a nod to retro games gone by to have pick ups for specials instead of this over abundance of choice. The fact they had to be explained to me by a dev during the stream shows it needs refining as it wasn’t fully intuitive; for example, the red & blue weapon does not make the purple one, weird.
Graphically, musically and with sound effects this does give a very Sega retro feel, as intended and that was really nice. But again moments got complicated when you had several different enemies of several different colours which could only be killed by using their colour type of weapon. It added immediate stress but with such open maps where you could go back to quieter areas and plan attacks more this took out the element of pressure and it was annoying that enemies could use cover and we couldn’t.
The controls (without the faffy weapon changing) handle really really well, we had no issues using the Xbox controller in the PC, and it does do what it sets out to do.
If you grew up on these shooters, as we did, its nice but its missing something. Be it pick ups or side scrolling I am not sure. In a saturated market of retro nostalgia indie games this is going to need to find and set its niche very fast in order to build the community it wants to build.
2.5 out of 5
I can’t give it any more at this time when its still so unfinished but its not a bad little game. I think the weapons are too generous/complicated but in terms of how its handles and looks, its nice. When you consider I have given this rating to completed AAA titles & indie games, it shows huge room for growth and potential. I will be following this with interest as it develops.
I was asked to promote the Kickstarter for this game but there isn’t much information attached to it at the moment, and by their own admission in discord it will be a few months until they launch the campaign.