A Space Shooter For Free, originally “A Spacer Shooter For Two Bucks”, has made its way from PSN to iOS and now to Android. Release by Frima Studios, this top down arcade style shooter has a very retro-style feel. In this title you take on the role of Commander Jefferson and blast your way through a galaxy filled with Aliens. It is your job to pilot the USS Eradicator collecting loot and upgrading your ship along the way. The voice acting is quite hilarious and adds to the storyline. As you battle through various waves of enemies, you will get some fun one-liners here and there from the Commander. Although there are quite a few good lines, they do tend to replay a bit often and get a bit annoying after a while. In addition to blasting your way through various alien skum, you can also upgrade the USS Eradicator by visiting Jenna at the Shop! and perusing her wares.
The title is split up into two different modes, Campaign and Survival modes. In the campaign you on the hunt for “Most Wanted” aliens. As you progress through the levels you face a handful of Mini-Bosses as well as some the “Most Wanted” aliens you are in search of. Defeating these enemies will upgrade your ship and the “Most Wanted” aliens will each give you a special equipment upgrade upon their demise. Gameplay overall is fairly simple. Move you ship around the screen blasting enemy ships out of the sky while trying to keep your ship from becoming swiss cheese. As you progress through each level you will collect orbs that you can spend at Jenna’s as well as some other drops including Repair, Shield, Power, etc. All of these drops help to ease your progress through each level. Although the levels start out pretty basic, later levels are incredibly hectic with enemy ships everywhere and projectiles filling the screen. All the levels in the campaign do have a checkpoint system that works pretty well. There are 2 checkpoints per level,
one in the middle of the level and 1 right before the boss battle. One VERY nice thing is that, if you do have to re-spawn, all of your special weapons are refreshed to full. This is especially helpful during some of the boss battles when you may deplete them all.
In Survival mode you attempt to do just that, survive. You face endless streams of aliens as well as Mini-Bosses and “Most Wanted” bosses as well. It starts out slowly just as the first levels in the campaign did, and progresses to more and more enemies and increasingly difficult bosses with no break in between. In survival mode there is a score multiplier that adds to your hi-score. As long as you don’t get hit by any enemies the multiplier continues to increase, to a max of 10X score. While early on it is pretty easy to max out, later on it become far more difficult to maintain even a 1X multiplier as the action becomes very intense. Unlike the campaign, if you destroy your ship in survival mode you finished. You must start again from the very beginning and take another attempt at a hi-score. If you are one for achievements, plan on clearing your schedule as one of the achievements is to last 60 minutes in survival. I can happily say I managed to pickup this achievement while putting this review together! One other cool thing about survival mode is that any orbs you collect will add to your overall score, so not matter what mode you choose to play in you can still upgrade your ship.
One other thing that should be mentioned is that although this title is free, there are some micro transactions available as well. Survival mode is part of the “Unlocked Game” which is well worth the price of admission, only $0.99. If you don’t want to “farm” the levels to collect enough orbs to unlock your ship upgrades, you can purchase them, by tier, for $0.99 each. You can also buy ALL of them outright for $9.99.
- Gameplay = 4/5 Fun addictive gameplay. Support for OpenFeint means you can stack up your score and compete with your friends, always fun to see who ranks at the top of the leaderboards.
- Audio/Visual = 3.5/5 The background music is pretty basic and works well, but the Commander’s 1 liners get old after a while. Graphically the game looks very nice, but does seem to lag a bit at times during heavy action on my iPad.
- Value = 5/5 For free, you can’t beat it. I would absolutely recommend Unlocking the game, it’s only $0.99 and it gives you access to Survival Mode, plus the developer deserves that at a minimum. Frima has also done a great job of bringing this title out on nearly every platform, cudos to them for bringing the games people want to the platforms they want them on.
- Overall = 4.2/5 Overall a really strong title. If you are looking for some fun addictive gameplay and don’t mind some repetitive 1 liners, this is a great title to pickup. Bonus points for being accessible on the major mobile platforms.
Pick it up for iOS through iTunes here.
Pick it up for Android through the Marketplace here.