There's nothing quite like a good old 2D shooter to test your gaming reflexes so here are 4 recent indie shooting games to check out.
Dead End Job Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Here we have a shooter that's a cross between Ghostbusters and Ren & Stimpy but does it provide satisfying ghost-busting gameplay?
Dead End Job was created by the same developers behind the super-challenging Binaries and let me tell you, they really stepped up their game for this twin-stick shooting funfest. The core gameplay is rather simple as all you do is clear out rooms of ghosts within certain structures. Some structures feature confined quarters while others have wide-open spaces so you'll have to adjust your strategy accordingly. Anyway, you shoot ghosts to eventually stun them then you must suck them up. There's a wide variety of these suckers so you'll have to memorize how each type behaves in order to bust them efficiently. The fact that you can enjoy it cooperatively with a local friend is the icing on the cake and even though it's a simple formula for the most part, it manages to stay fresh and exciting.
If you have an off-the-wall sense of humour and want to enjoy a simple twin-stick shooter, you'll have a great time with Dead End Job.Dead End Job gameplay video →
Retimed Review Switch ★★★★☆
Speaking of movie-inspired shooters, Retimed combines arena combat with Matrix-style evasive moves so let's get ready to shoot!
I should mention that Retimed actually released last year but it has recently received a huge update so I decided to finally check it out. For the unfamiliar, Retimed is yet another silly-looking cartoonish shooter yet its gameplay mechanics are far from goofy. Essentially, you just run and jump around 2D arenas while shooting at your friends but the twist is that once a bullet approaches you, your surroundings slow down which is a lot like The Matrix's bullet time moments. Whenever this happens, you can jump or slide out of the way or even try to shoot incoming bullets out of the way. The result is one frantically fun multiplayer experience that plays exceptionally smoothly. Many similar games are best served as fun distractions yet Retimed can definitely be the main event at any multiplayer gaming bash.
Multiplayer indies are rarely as enjoyable as Retimed. Now that it's better than ever, it's a good idea to finally play it if you haven't yet.Retimed gameplay video →
Straimium Immortaly Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
A few indie shooters combine shooting action with roguelike dungeon exploration but does Straimium Immortaly stand out in this genre?
Straimium Immortaly is a very funny game. Reading the silly way the characters talk while watching the trippy visuals is an absolute treat. The core gameplay is quite simple as all you do is hold a button to shoot which locks you either facing left or right. Other buttons allow you to dash as well as use items and special weapons. Clearing out rooms of tricky enemies to claim loot and power up only to face a giant boss mere moments later is a satisfying formula for sure. However, I found it very difficult to make out what's onscreen due to the incredibly ambiguous visual hodgepodge. For example, some enemies may hide in a semi-translucent state while some foregrounds completely obscure the action. It felt unfair almost every time I got hit although I kept trying again and again so it must be fun.
If Straimium Immortaly had clearer visuals, it would be a solid 2D dungeon shooter. As it is, it's a bit too frustrating to fully enjoy.Straimium Immortaly gameplay video →
Space Pioneer Review Switch ★★★☆☆
I don't know what it takes to be a true Space Pioneer but apparently, it involves shooting loads of hostile alien forces.
Space Pioneer feels like a PS1 hidden gem with its 3D graphics filled with simple textures and bright colours. Funnily enough, it plays like one, too, as all you essentially do is run around planet surfaces while shooting at aliens via twin-stick controls. You also have a few extra weapons at your disposal via grenades, turrets, and a helper drone that walks close to you. Completing the missions while trying to achieve all of the optional challenges is a pretty fun formula although everything still remains rather basic which is the main drawback. Thankfully, you can play it cooperatively with up to 4 players which adds to the fun factor yet it remains mostly "been there, done that" albeit with a charming style and refreshing simplicity. In other words, you could do a lot better and worse.
When you think of a twin-stick shooter, you probably picture something exactly like Space Pioneer. It's solid yet typical of the genre.Space Pioneer gameplay video →