Price: 80 Microsoft points
Also available on PC for £0.60 (not on steam yet)
Review bit: Well after I openly said on twitter I was taking requests. I also said they would be the first reviews out after the official restart of me reviewing on the 8th of January. Now Iíve finally get enough of me working at the same time to be able to put out a review without needing to wipe the screen every 30 second after sneezing. Only one request was made.
I honestly anticipated to find my requests / complaints inbox with, most likely an indie game sitting in it which I would no doubt hate. My first impressions on Glare was that this wasnít going to be one of my more enjoyable reviews and as the only one sitting in the box I knew I had to take this on first. Itís rare for me to enjoy space shooters. Itís rare for me to enjoy vector styled graphics so much so Iím one of the few people in the world who actively dislikes geometry wars. I will admit spending a few hours putting this review off with various other things. Until I re-read the games description and a single little thing stood out to me. ďit's difficulty on the players skill levelĒ that was all it took for my curiosity to get the better of me as I had to play a game designed to scale. I loved the concept in Left 4 Dead of the director trying the make the game fun and intense and while it never seemed to do much in Left 4 Dead, at least not noticeably, the idea stuck with me. So does it do much in Glare ? Um I think it does but not hugely.
Glare is a wave based space shooter. I really am debating a no wave based policy for the future as I kind of hate the survive as long as you can idea. Glare does manage to be a bit different and enjoyable, different ďshipsĒ have different characteristics, some types fire randomly, other try to follow you, yet more dart about randomly. Itís fair to say enemy variety is not one of the games problems. Nor is fitting on the screen (seriously you have no idea how many games have this issue). Heck I could even clearly read the text for the game. The controls are very responsive which is exactly what a twitch shooter like this requires. The waves are varied and there are even boss ships which show up after a certain number of completed waves.
So now onto the games issues as it does have some. Firstly the ship controls too well. This sounds stupid but the ship essentially has no momentum carrying on with it and stops on pixel the problem is this doesnít make the ship feel like it controls well it feels like the controls are tending towards being floaty rather than simply responsive. The ship feels like it has nothing to it. Next the power ups. There might just be a little over powered, so much so they turn a wave into easy mode. The rapid fire is one thing but when you collect the homing shot and it rapid fires too then it all becomes a little too simple, though the scatter shot seems fine.
Next the sound effects. Shooting normally the sound effect is fine but on rapid fire weapons it seemingly drowns the music out with an almost monotonous tone, which is a bit of a shame really, and while you can correct this yourself by messing with the sound effect settings it did feel worth mentioning as it could be an issue to some.
Another issue I found was the enemy spawning system. The problem being enemies seemingly spawned in randomly right in front of me, sometimes damaging me as essentially they spawned with no real way for me to avoid them. Hopefully if there is a future game in this genre from this developer there will be a minimum spawn distance put into the enemies to stop these cheap bits of damage occurring.
The final issue is only a minor one and itís the kind of thing I tend to discover when Iím feeling particularly mischievous and decide to try and push the game a little and see if it bends. On about wave 6 with a large amount of enemies on screen I dropped a bomb perfectly in the middle and wiped maybe 80% of the enemies out in one go. The amount of enemies combined with the amount of shots coming off the bomb and the impacts caused a couple of seconds of slowdown in the game such that for those couple of seconds I was concerned I might be about to get my first code 4 error. Luckily it didnít and returned to normal but again I thought it worth mentioning.
Now in the games favour the minimap is actually well done such that it does the locations of dropped power ups if they are out of the playerís field of vision.
Verdict: Not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, it has its faults but none of them serious or one that caused it to become infuriated. Itís not great either as it is a rather generic wave based shooter even with the art style and the adaptive difficulty thereís really not a lot new it does besides the idea of bosses, which Iím pretty sure other games also do.
If youíre someone who loves I made a game with Zombies in it and never plays that with friends only solo and youíre fed up with it. You that one person is who I recommend this game to. To everyone else I say, itís alright you might be able to get your moneyís worth out of it just about and it is fine to play in so much as it occupies a space in time and you donít come out feeling you want that time back. On the flip side neither do you feel you used your time that well either. It also loses points for lack of an online leaderboard making high scores pretty irrelevant unless youíre sharing a profile to play it on. If it every appears on portable stuff it might do to be honest as I felt in my time with the game it did begin to drag ever so slightly in the sense of ďOh this againĒ so would better fit the short quick bouts of fun design of most IOS / android portable games.
On the plus side I did enjoy it more than playing geometry wars, though less than attacking people with protractors and set squares.
Trailer: well not quite but its gameplay footage on the developers website so its close enough