Spacejacked is the fast-paced arcade style tower-defense game from Rotten Mage. The genre I’m not particularly experienced in but have always been interested in, just never having made that jump. Fortunately, this rectifies that injustice and throws me straight into what tower-defense is all about, build, shoot, survive and in this case, acquire metal.
Dave Paprovsky is a space technician whom players become in their quest of survival. Defend the spaceship against wave after wave of aliens, not exactly an original story, but certainly a tried and true model. Many of your team have been abducted early on and thus begins the mission to save them and in turn gain access to some perks, upgrades and even mini-games.
What’s apparent from the get-go is just how smooth it plays, traversing the arenas, teleporting between them, spawning turrets and firing at the enemy are all easy tasks that are executed without fault. Because of this, there is no pause in the enjoyment like you can get with finicky controls or disjointed gameplay.
Each section of the story is broken up into days, which begin with an alarm and a signal on which room you need to defend. Teleport into the room, place your turrets in the pre-set locations and get ready for the rush. This rinse and repeat formula allows for quick learning not only of the controls but the mechanics in general. Enemies spawn in via pre-determined spots which are highlighted by small purple swirly things, I know, very descriptive. Now although it seems easy because you have all these various factors that take care of you, don’t let that fool you, because it gets tough. A surprising difficulty curve that presents a rewarding journey when you overcome each challenge.
It comes to no surprise that a game would get harder and harder the further you progress. In this, you get more enemy variety not only in appearance but their attack strategy and health too, the number of foes that try to take you down also differs. So you never truly know what’s coming, it isn’t predictable which prevents boredom from kicking in. On the flip side it certainly gets tough and at times can be frustrating after failing again and again.
Perhaps the most endearing quality for me is the visuals, the pixel art style is so reminiscent of arcade games and in general the games of old. It instils this sense of nostalgia and pure joy instantly, and adding that to the clean design and presentation makes for something that has been designed to look from the past whilst still feeling like the present.
The sound is straight out of an arcade with fast paced, high pitched beeps and sci-fi sound effects. I almost lost myself in the game and believed that I was in an arcade from way back when smashing the buttons in a bid to take out the baddies.
I found this game to be more enjoyable than I feel it had any right to be. That thought comes from the sense that, I haven’t had any experience with the genre and it’s from an unknown studio as far as I was aware. So it was much to my glee when I became addicted to the frenzy that is Spacejacked.
OVERALL: 8/10 – GREAT
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Spacejacked, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)