Hyper Sentinel is a classic arcade style shooter from Four5Six Pixel and Huey Games. It brings the arcade to the home, but does it recapture the very essence, feel and nostalgia one associates with going out, spending all their coins and maybe nothing but a high score to show for it?
From the main menu you are immediately hit with high pitched beeps and loud arcade like music that make you feel good and I felt almost transported back in time. There is no clear story other than the one you can make up in your head, you pilot a ship and look to destroy the oncoming enemy and the variety of turrets stations on the ground, simple really but for me it suffers from a lack of real depth, with no reason to be playing other than the superficial nostalgia.
Gameplay is the most important thing in a shooter and this feels solid, responsive and above all satisfying. Flying back and forth through space albeit in 2D is addictive, shooting at anything that moves and in case of this, anything that fires at you. It’s a tried and tested gameplay loop for a reason, because it just works, however in terms of longevity, it suffered to keep me invested towards the latter levels.
Enemy variety helps to stave off the boredom by throwing different attack styles at you. Not only that, but the end bosses for each level come in different shapes, sizes and attacks. It all kept me on my toes but like previously mentioned it just wasn’t enough for me later on in keeping my attention and drawing me in.
The visuals hearken back to the games of old that would normally only be playable on a huge cabinet. The black background is accompanied by white dots for stars with the ships featuring prominently in the foreground. A range of colours have been used that catch your gaze, almost treating you like a cat that gets distracted by bright lights very easily. It’s pleasant to look at from a nostalgia point of view but certainly doesn’t test the limits at all, but Hyper Sentinel doesn’t aim to test the visual limits anyway, it isn’t about that.
Noise is consistently produced from this space adventure and it feels like a constant dopamine hit. The blasts that sound when firing your weapon and the increasing volume of beeps when tallying up your score are just so satisfying which does make it hard to stop. The sound of the arcade comes alive in all its glory thanks to the audio design.
Hyper Sentinel sent me back to a simpler time, where my only worries were the enemies flying at me, trying to destroy me and potentially take my job, I don’t know. The gameplay combined with the sound design make for an addicting experience at first but unfortunately the lack of real depth or innovation fails to keep me invested for the long flight. Competent but uninspiring.
OVERALL: 6.5/10 – AVERAGE
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Hyper Sentinel, 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.)