From shoot 'em ups to twin-stick and on and on; indie shooters offer great fun so here are 6 recent games to check out.
Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
With so many new developers giving shooters a try, let's see how a genre veteran fares in today's crowded market.
Alfa System is known for many great games from their line of portable RPGs to shoot 'em ups. Most notably, they made the Castle Shikigami shmups which I wrote about in my PlayStation 2 Shoot 'em Ups: Five Must-Have Titles article. Well, they're back at it with Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire. For starters, I absolutely love the simple yet challenging gameplay which has you dodging clouds of projectiles while shooting, sending summons to attack enemies, and deploying bombs whenever you're in a pickle. As the title suggests, you play as 1 of 5 sisters and I had a ton of fun experimenting with what each one is capable of while trying to master their campaigns. With a clever scoring system, recoverable health, and engaging mechanics, Sisters Royale is a solid shmup that fans will surely love.
Side effects of playing Sisters Royale include not being able to close your eyes without seeing clouds of neon projectiles flying everywhere but when you're a shmup fan, that's a good thing. In the end, I'm glad to see Alfa System back doing what they do best.Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire gameplay video →
Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Some indies don't look very refined but once you actually play them for yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Yes, Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo looks like some sort of flash game but believe me, it's a lot of fun. For starters, it features 3 main solo modes: Save the Colony where you collect astronauts and place them in a portal, Protect Mother mode where you try and stop asteroids and stuff from hitting your mother ship, and Survival mode where you merely try and survive. There are also a couple of multiplayer modes in the form of One Shot and To the Death which can be great fun with a friend. The core gameplay feels like Atari's classic Asteroids as it forces you to shoot carefully since your weaponry is unable to rapidly fire. That being said, there are power-ups and goodies to buy at the store with earned currency. It all adds up to make mastering each mode an absolute blast.
Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo contains an impressive variety of modes and each one poses an enjoyable level of challenge.Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo gameplay video →
Last Encounter Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Roguelike twin-stick shooters have become quite a popular genre but does Last Encounter live up to its competitors?
Last Encounter is kind of a complicated game that takes a while to grow on you. Once you get over the initial hump of learning its ins and outs, it can be a rewarding spacefaring adventure. The core gameplay involves flying around arenas in space while blasting at adversaries and after mastering each one, you move on to the next. Between runs, you can purchase upgrades if you earn enough cash. As you play, you'll gather weapon modifiers which is the best part about Last Encounter as they alter your shots in clever ways. The enemies are varied and learning how to take them out effectively is fun although some can be exceptionally annoying such as ones with homing missiles. When all's said and done, it's nothing special but if you're willing to practice, it can be quite a satisfying shooter.
With so many roguelike twin-stick shooters out there, Last Encounter remains an overall enjoyable yet middling experience.Last Encounter gameplay video → More roguelike twin-stick shooters
Willy Jetman: Astromonkey's Revenge Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
2D platformers that feature fun shooting gameplay always stand out as memorable so let's see what Willy Jetman is up to.
Willy Jetman: Astromonkey's Revenge is a silly game with an oblivious protagonist who chats with his comical AI partner. In it, you traverse intricate environments while fending off aliens and bringing trash to their appropriate receptacles. That may not sound all that fun but it indeed is. You start the journey with a measly peashooter but as you progress, you'll upgrade and purchase a whole arsenal of powerful weaponry and considering you can equip 2 at a time, you're looking at a lot of enjoyable experimentation. Mix in RPG elements, the ability to fly, and dangerous platforming scenarios and you're left with one rewarding and endearing space shooting adventure.
As a retro-inspired game, Willy Jetman: Astromonkey's Revenge does a fantastic job of bringing gamers back to the past while offering fresh and exciting shooting and platforming gameplay. So, rock out with your Willy out and give it a try.Willy Jetman: Astromonkey's Revenge gameplay video →
Project Starship Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
If you're in the mood to just shoot without many bells and whistles then allow Project Starship to give your thumbs a workout.
After selecting a character and difficulty, you simply play Project Starship by holding a button to shoot and another to slow down which comes in handy if you want to weave through projectiles and focus your firepower. There are also items that you can use by tapping another button after picking one up. It's an incredibly basic vertical shmup but its flashy stylish visuals and catchy music make playing it a treat. Plus, each run will be different to the previous as everything is randomly generated. That being said, you'll come across repeated scenarios and boss fights so it does get repetitive after playing for an hour or so. Plus, success relies a bit too much on luck.
Project Starship is a simple pick-up-and-play shmup that can provide some frantic fun in between more substantial gaming sessions.Project Starship gameplay video → Project Starship X Review
Top Run Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
I love a good old genre-blender and Top Run masterfully combines endless runner and shooting elements to make one cool formula.
For me, Top Run feels like a shoot 'em up but plays like an endless runner, if that makes any sense. You basically jump up and down platforms as your character perpetually moves forward while avoiding a whole onslaught of enemies and hazards and collecting crazy power-ups. You also have the ability to shoot discs yet your ammo is limited although it replenishes over time. You can also collect friends that act like bombs in shmups because they usually unleash powerful screen-clearing attacks whenever you summon them. As soon as you get hit once, it's game over and you have to try again so thankfully, you can purchase upgrades between runs that will make future attempts easier. In the end, it's a flashy and unique game that I highly recommend for gamers looking for a rewarding challenge.
Top Run mixes shoot 'em up elements with its endless runner format to create a supremely satisfying yet undeniably tricky formula.Top Run gameplay video →