The Reviews :: Games
Edited by Neil Harvey
Reviewed by Georgette Tan
We find them at arcades and amusement parks Ė where you smack the head of an alligator with a hammer when they randomly pop out of their holes. Hereís the Flash version. Instead of alligators, you have these weird one-eyed aliens and plethora of other things.
The game control is your numeric keypad, which corresponds to the nine holes where things will play peekaboo with you. Some of the aliens will leave behind a gold coin or a heart (life) once vanquished. The game starts with green aliens, followed by red aliens that you have to hit twice, and yellow aliens that will cower (you lose life if you hit a cowering alien), aliens that cannot be hit once they go into defensive mode, and other characters that will test your keypad prowess. Occasionally, youíll get a shop where you can buy life or upgrade your hammer.
I found that the best way to play is to master using your keypad without looking at it, and hit the little buggers as soon as you see them.
Strength: As you progress through the levels, more and more interesting additions join the game board. This is fun, but it can also be your downfall.
Weakness: Game over? Youíll have to start from the very beginning. Quite an annoyance.
Reviewed by Neil Harvey
Thatís all that comes to mind when I try to describe this game. Simply wow.
Youíve probably seen the ads for this game around the internet somewhere. Starscape has been seen in many side-bar and banner ads, and believe me, itís well worth the click. The first work by the indie programming group Moonpod Games, Starscape is a top-down arcade style space shooter, returning to the classic formula. But instead of merely being a clone of a 1990 arcade game, Starscape adds a surprising amount of depth, plot, complexity and gameplay for such a small download. To survive, you must mine, trade, make friends and allies, and fight your way out, using an ever expanding line of technology to do so.
You play a pilot on the interstellar space station, the Aegis. Itís mission was to head out into deep space, its crew in cryo-sleep chambers, to test and develop a revolutionary new type of space propulsion, using the power of a tiny black hole as its heart. As the drive was about to be activated, a horrendous accident occurred, and the drive overloaded. Instead of destroying the Aegis though, it opened a one-way doorway into the Grid, a self-contained universe linked to ours by the singularity of black holes. In the Grid, the Aegis was immediately set upon by biomechanical soldiers. After most of the crew escaped in life-pods, the drones dismantled and stole the dimensional drive, stranding the Aegis in the Grid with no way out.
I was extremely impressed by Starscape. The visuals for it are simply gorgeous, albeit sometimes repetitive. The music and sounds are extremely well chosen, and while the ending of the game tends to give my inner writing critic pains, the plot is very solid and believable. The only drawback is that, in the demo, you can only play through the first Zone of the Grid, and only for a short time. (However, your game is automatically saved when your session ends, and you can start it right back up again as many times as you like) And if you have a spare $25, itís well worth the price to buy it, to gain full access to all the technology, and to keep battling your way out of the Grid.
Strength: Extremely solid game, with a well polished feel, and a great set of characters.
Weakness: The demo version only allows you to play for short blocks of time before automatically exiting.
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