Read a Game?: Space Battle

March 26, 2009

How does one solve a dearth of posting activity? Mayhaps by reviewing a game none of ya’ll have (or probably will ever) play?

This is a top-down Galaga knockoff for the Zune! If that does not tell you how the game is like, then I feel sorry for you.

There is a plot of some sort, but frankly, it is one of those end-credit 8-bit era plots. All you need to know is that you are a space captain battling insect-like aliens in some distant galaxy. Adding depth to the exercise, it takes multiple hits to destroy your ship, there are power-ups (primary fire multiplied up to a quad shot, pick up extra secondary fire ammo, extra ships, shield boost), and various new ship parts to pick up. There are 5 stages and at least 2 levels of difficulty. So, more entertaining than Galaga, but not much to write home about, either.

The presentation is phenomenal, considering that it is on a mp3 player. The visuals are rich and varied. Sound effects cut out after you die in a level, but are otherwise very good. And you can jam to your own tunes whilst playing. The only real dark spot is the lame, generic name.

The controls are a little unresponsive on the standard configuration. The touch pad moves the ship (and does not like moving backwards). Pressing the touch pad fires the secondary weapon. The back button pauses. Ship movement and secondary fire can be modified in the options menu. I highly recommend moving the secondary weapon to the play button; wasting shots by pressing the touch pad is a good way to eventually lose.

The menu is unique. Touch pad to move between each function, which looks like various ship control screens. Exiting the game does not actually crack your screen; yes, it scared me the first time I saw it.

Multiple modes, collecting new parts, and beating your previous high score adds replay. It is also the deepest game I thought was interesting for my Zune (sorry Checkers and Sudoku). And, it is free (with purchase of a Zune.).

The only ethical problem is you are killing aliens (I am assuming they are sentient, since they have built space ships). Ship parts fall off the harder enemies and bosses, but those are not exactly body parts.

Time for the numerical breakdown:

Gameplay: 3/5

Presentation: 4.5/5

Interface: 3/5

Replay: 5/5

Morality: 4.5/5


Average: 4/5

Kinda sad that this is the highest rating I have given a game so far, huh?


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