Hi Dtoid, This is my first C-blog, so here goes nothing,
Well, today as I was reading some tweets from Notch, he mentioned that an indie developer called him out for being a part of a large scam and was in cahoots with some really really, really, bad dudes. Dudes so bad, I had never even heard of them. In the end, the poor fellow just seems confused and was talking out of his rump with no thought about it.
As it turns out, CoderGames (AKA Aleksandar Vidakovic), is looking for some more reviews for his ten dollar masterpiece; Invader Attack. I figure I'll give the demo a shot and see what happens:
Invader Attack is simply a twist on the old space invaders formula, except this game is no where near as fun. Considering what this game attempts to emulate, I won't gripe about minor details, unless they have a massive impact on the gameplay itself.
One of the two demo videos
Let's start off with a nice list of everything this ten dollar work of art has to offer.
* Artificial intelligence that learns your moves and tactics
* Different invader types and behaviors
* 19 different types of vessels
* 10 different areas and backgrounds
* 100 different levels
* 7 different power-ups, good and bad
* 3D graphics
* Physics that makes destroying those invaders fun
* Cinematic music and exploding sound effects
* Unique scoring system, it evaluates your performance
* 24/7 online hiscore (unless the server is down)
And how was the game really you ask? Well about that.....
I didn't get past level five, I will admit that I am really rusty when it comes to a space invader-styled shooter, but my god, I tried for about a couple hours to get farther than level three, and when I finally did, at level five I was killed pretty much instantly by a new type of enemy.
behold a boss fight.
What works: There are some very nice touches to the game that make it promising, but a pretty bow on a pile of shit still makes it a pile of shit. This is a list of the few things that I actually liked.
-Graphics: This was pretty straightforward, the enemies, and the main ship itself, they all looked nice and pretty considering the art style, the background was rather generic however.
-The variation: There is supposed to be a ton of variation in the game, but since all I have to go on is the in-game help, and some videos and screen shots, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. With 18 different enemy types, there would probably be a nice mix up of enemies over the course of the game.
-Music and sounds: They are what they are, and they sounded good, although the music got annoying after a while, but I can't fault the game for only having one track of music playing for the first few levels.
-Leaderboards: an obligatory, but nice touch, and with the rule in place that only scores higher than your previous best being accepted by the server make it fair for everyone.
-Physics: That's right, there is some physics in a 2D styled shooter, and they were kinda neat, when they worked....
Oh course, not everything is all peaches and cream...
Amazing stellar boss fights!!!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!
What could use some work: Basically, there is a few things that aren't broken, but they could use a little love.
-HUD: being a simple game, there is no HUD, and that is the problem, the only time you even see that your ship has been damaged is literally right as it is about to get blown to bits, and even then its just a small cloud of smoke coming out of the back. Is some sort of health bar too much to ask for?
-Scoring: Score is based more on style and not kills, and while that is fine and dandy, the cutoffs for any sort of real bonus are rather insane. I can understand a nice challenge, but due to the time it takes to kill the most basic enemy, the difficulty curve for bonuses is pretty steep.
-Controls: The controls are really simple, and there is even support for a gamepad. Now if it didn't feel like the ship was flying through molasses the entire time, it would be much better.
Oh, it gets better, if this was opposite day on Mars with "better" being the password into the hottest club this side of the sun.
Every enemy you meet will be recorded in the gallery, not that you actually care.
What is this, I don't even? Ok, here it is; the worst of the worst;
-Enemies: So, how in the hell am I supposed to kill something when my little pew pew laser barely makes the enemy fleet finch? I can't say anything about the AI since I didn't exactly live long enough to get into the levels where it might actually have an effect.
-Difficulty: its a shooter, its hard, I get it, but really? For a "casual" game, I don't exactly have the time or patience to go from the first level to the last in one sitting. Three lives are no big deal if there is some sort of safety net, like a certain score at the end of a level granting another life, but having to rely only on getting the one powerup that awards a new life isn't that hard, right? oh wait...
-Powerups: they do practically nothing, and that is assuming you are able to catch one of the damn things, and you were lucky enough that it was a good powerup, and not one that kills you instantly.
-Physics: When an enemy is shot, they might flinch a little, when you get shot, you stop dead, and lose all momentum. While dealing with a few enemies it isn't that big of a deal to dodge their fire, but when the AI decides to have everyone shoot all at once, those stops from being hit once are an instant death sentence.
Everything is such a nice shade of grey, isn't it?
Tl;Dr: In the end Invader Attack had a lot of potential, it really did, but it fell flat everywhere, I would more than happily let a lot slide if it was a free game that was merely a hobby project from a developer, sadly, its not. This is indeed a commercial product, and one that is supposed to be sold for nine dollars, and that alone is the final nail in the coffin.
If the full game was released for free I would be happy to give the game, flaws and all a very nice: 5.1/10
But since it is a paid, fully functioning commercial product, I have to give it a score to reflect the price, the low, low, low, low price of: 9/100
*Note all images were used liberally without permission from the codergames site, seeing as I could not stand the game long enough to take my own screenshots.