You know how it is. You go through a bad day, maybe a few customers didn’t agree with your sales techniques, lunch didn’t agree with you. You want to share your frustration with some bad guys, but what game? Do you wait until you get home and fire home another FPS? Or do you take a punt on an old school space shooter right there and then, as your boss calls you over the PA for the tenth time, on your shiny but partially chipped phone that you’ve dropped on the floor twice already that day.
Or is that just me?
Either way, here’s an old school space shooter right here and now! It’s Astro Attack, coming to us from sunny Brisbane thanks to indie developers, Blocky Pixel. The unofficial official description of the game is an 80’s style Space Invaders tribute mashed with nostalgia and touch based controls, or ‘pew pew pew pew pew pew pew … pew.’
But seriously, the game does look cool. It’s not trying to do anything too complex and there’s a butt load of references to pop culture and video games within its core gameplay of shooting down alien ships. There’s that modern element of unlocking new ships by collecting in-game coins, nothing unusual there, but the ships themselves provide a chuckle as they appear inside a box of cereal, just like the cheap plastic toys of old. You then start flying around in a Tardis (in this case called a Tardac) and what I think might be the DeLorean from Back to the Future? Correct me if I’m wrong.
Not of it would work if the gameplay didn’t match the colour, and thankfully it holds up rather well thanks to its one touch control system and fast paced combat. Power-ups can also chain together as they become more powerful, so if you last long enough you might find yourself an unstoppable killing machine. Perfect for taking all that anger out, of course.
Astro Attack released this week for free on iOS and Android. According to Blocky Pixel, it took over a year of part time development to complete between bouts of real life (ewww!). So, if you’re as keen as I am to blow up a bunch of shite for free, go download Astro Attack today. I dare you to challenge me to a high score fight. Double dare you!
Mark Isaacson is a freelance journalist who, despite the opening paragraph, loves his full time job and the people he works with. Also, games are cool.