I think it’s pretty clear that we here in Jason’s little world are fans of classic games. As such, I, at least, am a fan of games that hark back to a simpler time. A time when men were men, and people who played video games got beat up, and were largely ignored by women. Now, years later, I no longer get beat up, but am still ignored by women. While modern games are all well and good, there will always be a place in my heart, in my very soul, for games that take me back to my earlier days of nerd-dom. The other night, I was poking around the Playstation Network and stumbled upon a game that is kind of a mix between the classic games Defender, and Uridium. That game, is called Astro Tripper.
PomPom Games’ Astro Tripper is a great top-down shoot ’em up type game. You control a small but agile spaceship that flies over a horizontally scrolling area destroying enemy ships. The responsiveness of the control is excellent, I found I was immediately comfortable with the controls. The levels are well thought out and start out fairly easy, but quickly ramp up to provide a good challenge. Even in the so-called easy mode! Trophies are not just handed out for farting on your cat, either, you must complete an actual challenge of some sort (to add to the challenge the game already presents to you) in order to be awarded a trophy.
There is more to this game than just mindlessly blasting away at enemies. There’s a few extra layers of depth. you can make this game as challenging as you see fit, and it adds to the replayability. First off, here is some video of gameplay:
I quickly noticed (may not be evident in the above video) that letting some enemies hang around for a bit makes them morph into a bigger, badder, and more valuable when killed version of their former self. Allowing all of the monsters to morph in the first level, for example, yielded a score several times higher than what I got when I quickly killed off everything as it appeared. In most games, I am less than concerned with overall score. However, in some games, such as Geometry Wars, and Astro Tripper, half the point of playing is to see how high you can get your score.
I don’t know if PomPom wanted to craft a modern Defender, but the resemblance is uncanny. The flow of the game, right down the the map on top of the screen showing you where enemies are throughout the level, are evident in both games. A screenshot from the arcade version of Defender:
As well as some gameplay footage.
It’s also strikingly similar to Uridium, seen here:
Finally, the price point can’t be beat, this game can be had for $5 but is worth at least a few dollars more. Admittedly, the $5 price point is what made me just buy it on a whim instead of spending more time researching it, hemming, hawing, watching videos of the gameplay, etc. For fans of classic games, particularly Defender/Uridium, but really any classic/retro space shoot ’em up, this game is a must purchase. For $5, how can you go wrong? Even if you don’t like it….it’s $5. So buy it….seriously.