Did you ever what would you get if you compressed Space Invaders and a platformer? Well, wonder no more. It has been done, thanks to Lethal Martini Games. I Accidentally… In Space! Ep1 for XBLIG is exactly that. A vertical platformer facing off against waves of enemies. This game had my engine running before it was even released, so here is it’s review.
Why don’t we start off with the story. Basically you’ve been hired to collect a bunch of gems. A mine was blown up and the gems went every where and the Diemos aliens covet these gems. So they are protecting them. Strapped with a cannon to your waste you are sent to destroy the aliens and recover the gems they are hoarding. That is how Episode 1: Hostile Hustle begins.
How will you do this? Well, by shooting straight up at them while climbing the platforms and collecting the gems and power-ups. The game plays with some simple and easy to use mechanics, Jump, Shoot with RT or use your special ammo with LT and the directional to move about. It is a very straight forward game, making the game play easy to get used to and go. This does not mean the game is easy though.
There are 6 methods/difficulties to play. You have 3 rapid fire modes: Easy, Normal and Hard. You also have 3 precision modes, Insane being the hardest. The difference between the difficulties and modes are in some ways slight and others a bit more intense. For instance between the 3 difficulties in both modes the a yellow bar that rises as you climb rises far more slowly in the harder modes allowing you to fall much farther down than you would on easy. Another difference is platforms and traps. On easy there are no disappearing reappearing platforms, this is not the case on normal and hard. The main difference between precision mode and the normal mode is in precision mode your shots deal more damage but fire at a far slower rate, while in rapid fire mode you shoot a lot faster but it takes multiple hits to take out an alien. For me this made both modes feel about the same to me in time playing to beat any given stage.
Now the game is not as simple as climbing platforms and shooting down waves of aliens. There are traps and many annoying obstacles to really give it that platformer feel. You’ll run into spike platforms that raise and lower, paralyzing beams, fireballs being shot from the sides, and spike balls bouncing down the platforms to smack you down. There are also blowers that push you off platforms as well as platforms that keep vanishing and reappearing. Not to mention the gems power-ups and more platforms appearing as you take out more aliens in the wave. You can’t just make a dash for the top in any stage you need to shoot aliens to make more platforms appear.
This is important for many reasons, not only do the platforms allow you to climb to the end of the stage. They also increase your multiplier for the points you earn by taking out an alien. The higher up you are the more points they’re worth. Which is why the yellow line is nice since it prevents you from falling to the bottom of a stage. As I said though it doesn’t rise as quickly in normal and hard as it does in easy. The power-ups that appear can increase your normal fire to 3 shots at once or give you secondary weapons. The secondary weapons are, Lazer, Spread, and big bomb. You can also pick up a shield to help you out. On normal you will need this.
The game has 6 levels and then a final boss level. On easy the game is actually pretty easy, but normal feels like a drastic jump to me. So be ready to die a lot and although you have infinite continues and the ability to save the game and come back to it later, it always starts you off at the begining of the level. The boss fight is neat since it changes up the gameplay a bit, making for an interesting final level.
Some added benifits to this game is it’s ability to save multiple games. It also has a local leaderboard, I know. I wish it was global as well. Oh well maybe in Episode 2. There is also an accomplishments you can earn in the game.
I wasn’t really impressed by the graphics or music, but I didn’t feel it deterred from the games lure. The game is good and the concept felt like a fresh take to me. When you press 2 genre’s together you sometimes end up with trash, that was not the case here.
This quality game is easy to play, fun and has some addictive elements. If your into playing all the modes and difficulties and trying to get all the accomplishments you will really get your moneys worth, that’s for sure.
I give this a 4 out of 5. The game is great but I really think playing the demo first is the way to go with this one.