Fun and Frantic. Nothing else.
If you're looking for an in-depth story line or impressive graphics, this is not ... MoreFun and Frantic. Nothing else.
If you're looking for an in-depth story line or impressive graphics, this is not your game. But if you're looking for a shoot-em-up that evokes the classics of the arcade era with some really cool control options, this might be worth a download. The idea is simple: You control a boat (or two boats) with a LOT of ammunition. You have to defeat the enemy naval forces, which are ships and forts. Sometimes you fight in the open ocean, but more often you're fighting among islands which add a tactical challenge. Not only do you need to maneuver your boat to make the right shot, you also have to ensure you have an escape route available so you don't get trapped in an estuary. Enemies come at you with guns blazing, but you've got plenty of firepower of your own. Graphics are minimal, but this game is about the action, and there's plenty of it. There will be hundreds of bullets and missiles on the screen, and the projectile patterns make up their own visual aesthetic. I don't think I'd want more realistic graphics if they were available. The vector-style graphics contribute to the speed of the game, and they really have their own charm once you get used to them. My favorite part of the game is the multiple control schemes. There are several ways to play the game, and they all have a different feel. This game makes better use of a two-stick game controller than any other arcade game I've ever seen. One mechanism allows you to control the boat's motion with one stick and its turret with another. Another mode has each stick controlling a separate boat, with a huge rapid-fire gun suspended between them. The control mechanisms are different enough that they feel like different games. Both are fun. Of course, there are control mechanisms for keyboard and mouse, but the game controller is the way to play this game. There isn't really a story line. Blow up bad guys, and then some more bad guys come. Sometimes you'll see really big angry-looking bad guys. Blow them up too. I really don't understand the scoring mechanism. It seems clever, but I don't really get how it works. Of course, you get a lot of points for surviving and blowing stuff up, so I guess that's all that matters. The scorekeeping system is good enough that my boys and I enjoy playing for high scores. If you want fast-paced old-school fun, this is a pretty good choice. It works fine on an older machine, and it's totally free, so it's definitely worth a try.
Pros: Fast pace shmup Works well on older machines varied control schemes
Cons: No Mac version (but Linux build is available) Limited graphics No real story