Shmups tend to start off easy then steadily build difficulty. Many times I have given up on a game because the difficulty ramps up so high. It is utterly frustrating to play 80% of the game and then quit because the game gets impossibly hard. Charlie fixes this problem in Scoregasm by offering a non-linear, grid-level advancement. If you score high, you will be offered a choice between Normal or Advanced, or if you really score high then you can go to the Insane levels. If you choose Insane and you score poorly, the game will drop you to Normal levels. Thus you are always facing the right difficulty level.
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Wed, 01/18/2012 - 14:13.|
|Submitted by costik on Mon, 12/12/2011 - 17:57.|
Reflex is a sort of shmup/puzzle game that's very simple in conception but rather hard to play.
It's a top-down scroller, with a Brickout-like array of blocks moving toward your ship; you score points for shooting blocks, which disappear when shot -- except for grey "metal" blocks. You need to navigate around them, and suffer damage whenever your ship intercepts a block.
The difficulty arises because of two factors; first, you move with WASD but can shoot in all four directions with the arrow keys. Thus, maximizing your score means alternating shot directions -- and, as in Robotron, dealing with two joystick-analogs takes some getting used to. Also, if you are approaching a metal brick, say, you need to shoot to one side to open up a brick there, slide quickly over, then quickly shoot ahead before you intercept that brick, which is tricky.
Space Chunks II
|Submitted by costik on Mon, 11/07/2011 - 19:01.|
Space Chunks II is a remarkably full-featured shmup for a freeware effort. It's also easy enough, at least at the easiest difficulty setting, to be enjoyable even for those of us who kind of suck at this style of game.
There's no backstory, which is actually something of a relief, given how lame such things often are. You control a ship (heading with the mouse, arrow keys or WASD for acceleration and breaking, LMB to shoot and RMB to use missiles) and, in most stages, find and kill enemy ships, of which there are a variety, each with its own attack behaviors and weapons. There are also asteroids floating about which, Asteroids-like, can be blasted into smaller chunks. Both enemies and asteroids sometimes drop score or resource doobers when blasted to, um, space chunks.
|Submitted by costik on Mon, 10/10/2011 - 01:05.|
When you begin Megamash, a short Flash video plays of a cart being inserted into the "Nitrome Game System"; you're then offered a (bogus) choice of 7 different games. When you select, the screen fills with a "cartridge read error" message, and the game begins. This is contextualization for the odd mix of gamestyles that follows.
At first, it seems like a simple platformer in which you play a bunny collecting carrots and avoiding enemies. But half-way through the level, you pass through a barrier into a sidescrolling shmup, and become a spaceship shooting aliens with the space bar.
|Submitted by costik on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 22:16.|
Omnicron is a vertically-scrolling shmup with pixelated, NES-style graphics. We see a lot of shmups, but there are two things about this that are noteworthy.
First, your ship moves with WASD and continuously fires, leaving your other hand free to move the mouse -- and anything blue you see on the screen can be absorbed by clicking on it, mouse pointer moving independently of ship. This is good for two reasons -- blue energy charges up your bomb (released with RMB, which clears the screen of enemy fire), and the blue stuff will kill your ship if it comes into contact with you, just like enemy ships and the (non-blue) stuff they fire. This is interesting, because it means you're trying to do two, dissociated things with your hands at once -- left hand maneuvering your craft, and right playing whack-a-mole with moving blue objects.
Super Space Rubbish
|Submitted by costik on Thu, 06/23/2011 - 17:59.|
Your first thought is "Asteroids clone, yawn." But it doesn't take long to realize there's a lot more going on here. Your gun slices up asteroids rather than blowing them up, and as they get smaller, you earn resources (floating numbers indicate so). Enemy ships show up and you have to deal with them too. Every once in a while, a sort of wandering space station shows up that you can dock with to unload your resources for score -- and while there, you can upgrade your ship. There are a lot of upgrades, too.
An increasing variety of enemy types, faster moving asteroids, boss battles -- and sometimes the screen gets close to bullet hell levels of activity, though this is not a bullet hell game. If you took Asteroids, and say, "Let's take it up ten X," you might get something like this.
Star Opus I
|Submitted by costik on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 02:16.|
Star Opus I is a nicely-implemented shmup with Asteroids-style motion control and shooting. There are a lot of such games, of course; what makes Star Opus stand out is the sheer number of potential enemies and the interesting ways in which they are used and combined in 25 different levels to pose different challenges with each level.
Visuals are vector-graphics style in old-school monitor green, but with nice floating visuals as background; music is a pleasant and unobtrusive electronic score. It's not that there's anything particularly unique here, but the package as a whole is pleasure and challenging to play.
Star Opus appears to have been a commercial indie venture, but the developers have released it as freeware -- though they threaten an additional 25 levels in future, presumably for actual money. It's worth checking out, however, if the game style is one that appeals to you.
Inside A Star-Filled Sky
Stars Not Included
|Submitted by the99th on Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:06.|
Last night, by chance, I started down a Wikipedia rabbit hole regarding the "Far Realms" in later edition D&D, basically an outer plane for the outerplanes where Lovecraft dominates Dante and Tolkien. Tentacle monsters and whatnot. This world beyond reason is composed of numerous layers that can be anywhere from a few inches to miles in width, reminding us of Stephen Hawking's 11-dimensional strings rolled up very tightly. Mortals, if not driven mad or torn asunder by sheer chaos, can traverse one layer at a time, but native beings of this realm float in higher dimensions, like an ink blot on a stack of papers, perhaps blotter paper. Revisiting D&D, "the Scottish game" for those who wish to avoid bad luck, I'm reminded of a Dungeon Master running a game I casually attended in my final half-year of college, who told me "I'd like to do more character interaction, but I do a lot of hack-n-slash because that's what these players want." Jason Rohrer, after having created a 2-player, digital version of a storytelling game, has created the equivalent of a tactical combat generator set in a bizarre "far realms" scenario, but with deterministic vectors instead of weighted dice rolls.
Canabalt, with special guest-stars Killjet and Talkpack
"Who the hell do you think you are, Killjet?!?"
|Submitted by Bob on Fri, 12/31/2010 - 15:20.|
Canabalt has been out for a little over a year now. It's become one of the most famous and best loved one-button games out there, having just missed out on the sweet spot of being released for the Kokoromi Gamma IV contest. It has been called one of the greatest games ever made over at Tim Rogers's Action-Button, where it was labeled the equivalent of "Super Mario Tetris". We've seen it retooled as a clever little typing game, we've seen plenty of fan-art inspired by it pop up throughout the 'net, and we'll soon see its two-player version debut in Toronto. Players have figured out ways to hack it and cheat for astronomically high scores. It has helped make Adam "Atomic" Saltsman and his Flixel AS3 library a household name for households who know about indie-gaming, and on platforms as diverse as online browsers and Apple by-products it has managed to conquer the casual gaming world as much as anything can, without betraying at least some semblance of hardcore street cred. It may just be the most important game released in the past ten years. And yet somehow, I cannot help but wonder what all the fuss is about.
|Submitted by costik on Mon, 12/20/2010 - 19:30.|
Suggested By:sebastian sohn
Radial Plus is an arena space shooter with one twist on the usual paradigm of the form: If you shoot an enemy directly, it suffers no damage, but it does suffer damage if you hit it with a bank shot. In other words, you have to find the right place in the geography and the right angle at which to fire to hit your enemies.