Planet Earth is totally destroyed, and across the universe lies little remnants of the human race struggling to survive in hostile outer space.. Your mission, if you choose to accept it (and why not because there’s nothing to go back to anyway!) is to travel through other galaxies to find their meaning of life. Help survivors, solve mysteries and fight your way in order to eventually escape the universe! (so not much to do then..!?)
To begin with, the game is a side scroller shoot em up, with nods to the retro games of old like scramble, defender, asteroids, travelling and confronting various alien types in the form of bugs, insects, spiders and crabs. Little orbs are scattered throughout each trip, that can be crossed over in order to temporarily slow down time, gain a shield or gain energy should your energy bar(top left) be depleted in battle. Progression is determined by a bar in the top right, and should that fill up, your ship will slow down and mission completion gains you credits. Instead of being just a standard shooter, the creators have added rpg/roguelike elements, with the credits earned used to upgrade your ship in the forms of stronger armour and firepower,and unlocking extra abilities. Death halfway through a several stage mission, gives you the option of continuing by spending credits, or ending mission and keeping the credits earned from the stages and thus gain and build a stronger ship from repeated playthroughs.
The story comes from different galaxy missions, in the form of text sections at the bottom left of the screen.You can approach the game in several ways, with options to either proceed with story missions or take on side quests, all with different objectives, and success unlocking another set in another galaxy.B
Graphics appear to look pretty basic in parts, with no real finer detail, yet are pleasing to the eye and do their job well. In contrast various scenery sections and in game bosses have a wire frame drawn look making each journey feeling adequate and satisfying,without the real need to visually impress. Sound is good throughout, with a futuristic electronic soundtrack that is pleasant and fits in well with the overall ambience of the game, and the controls…? Well, continuous firing can be achieved by holding down the A button, yet moving the ship with the left thumbstick feels way oversensitive.Even maneuvering through a substantial gap between revolving giant blades or rocket launchers can feel tricky when the slightest of touches on the thumbstick can lead to contact and instant death.Luckily a slow down orb usually appears before you travel through these parts, or you can remedy this problem by using the D pad.
To summarise, Escape from the Universe has enough content to please shooter fans and plays pretty competently throughout. Missions can be varied enough, yet you still can experience tedium should you be struggling and having to repeat sections.The difficulty bar is set just right, and my experience for this review was enjoyable and a bit surprising due to the look of this game. Issues with the sensitive controls and the price tag leans me to suggest that you are best trying this game at a sale price..
Decent shoot em up just not spectacular
Thanks to Cat-astrophe games for the code.