If you thought Dave Lonuts was done with his trippy arcade antics then he's back to prove you wrong. Space Dave is a fun modern take on classic static shooters so get your change purse ready and let's blast some aliens.
First of all, Space Dave is a significant departure from Woah Dave so don't expect it to be a direct sequel. Whereas the original had you pick up and throw eggs and such while jumping between platforms, Space Dave has you run back and forth as you shoot at invading aliens. Although that sounds a lot like Space Invaders, there are many wrinkles to the formula that make it feel like a fresh arcade experience. For starters, you can jump! Also, whenever an enemy touches the ground, the land dissolves and a lava pit emerges. Then, that enemy becomes fiercer. However, if you shoot an enraged alien and throw their remains in a lava pit then it will fill it. Unfortunately, you'll need at least a couple enemies to completely fill a hole. As you can already see, there's a lot going on but we're just getting started.
Space Dave also features a couple very cool ways to temporarily power-up. First, you'll pick up items that may grant you an extra drone, a spread gun, a rapid shot, or even freeze all the onscreen lava. Next, you can use a Space block that one of Dave's friends drops from the top of the screen from time to time. This contraption converts aliens to your side when you throw it to the ground underneath them. Obviously, doing so grants you a ton of extra firepower but the aliens will likely die off fairly quickly because they lag behind and make for easy targets. Just like with Woah Dave, the scoring system in Space Dave relies on collecting coins (mostly pennies). After each phase, you'll even be rewarded nickels according to how many trees are still standing which reminded me of Missile Command. Overall, the mix of satisfying power-ups and simple scoring system makes Space Dave an addictive arcade-style game.
One of the best parts of Space Dave is its variety of alien enemies. You never know what you'll come across next so it's fun encountering new types. That being said, coming across a new alien and not knowing what it'll do may result in death. Anyway, the alien designs are super goofy but that makes them all the more fun. For example, there are balls with faces on one side and a bum on the other.
Another aspect that I appreciate a great deal is the cooperative component. You can play through a simultaneous multiplayer mode with a chum and can even revive each other with earned money. It's fun stuff so if you have a gamer pal then you should try it out.
Finally, Space Dave merely consists of a brief campaign that you can play on a few difficulty settings. Once you pass it (which won't take long, depending on your skill), there really isn't much else to do besides replay it in order to get high scores. Luckily, if you're not that skilled then you can unlock a checkpoint after every boss if you manage to snag a special coin from a pesky thief.
My only other complaints are that the backgrounds are pretty bland and don't change much throughout and that some seemingly random occurrences can be extremely frustrating. One of the most annoying events is when an enemy is already close to the ground then it decides to descend in order to take out a piece of the ground. They can sometimes be so close that you can't run up to it and shoot it in time so you have one of two choices: either sacrifice yourself to save the piece of ground or just let them get away with it. Both of these options are far from ideal but it's just something that you'll have to deal with.
Although the frustration factor can be high and there's a significant lack of content, Space Dave provides an action-packed dynamic that'll have you on the edge of your seat as you approach getting a high score or reaching a new checkpoint.
- + Frantic classic shooting gameplay with awesome power-up and score systems
- + Loads of goofy aliens to blow up
- + Cooperative multiplayer is great
- - Fairly short campaign with not much to do besides beat high scores
- - Certain random events can be frustrating
- - Backgrounds could use more variety