Gemini is a simple but effective retro twin-stick shooter with tower defence elements thrown in for good measure.
Contained in the game is a decent amount of content with 5 different worlds, 25 levels and 125 waves of enemies to fight. 64 types of equipment and upgrades to collect along with some big bosses to defeat at the end of each world.
Each level of each world is under threat by evil and corrupt forces. The crystals that protect and maintain harmony and peace are under attack by waves of these very forces. Their ultimate goals are to set out and destroy the crystals and thus create chaos and mayhem to plunge the world into decay.
Your job is to defeat the hordes of enemies and maintain the state of each world by protecting its crystal. It won’t be easy but by finding the right protection, magic and weapons for the job at hand. Victory might just be in touching distance.
Levels are simplistic as you take on waves of incoming enemies approaching the crystal at the centre of each world environment. Enemies may also drop items and coins on defeat and always scattered around each area are chests containing further items like weapons, armour and health/magic potions. Players just have to survive five waves before a white flag indicates the end of the level and then it’s the option of either playing the next level. Replaying previously completed levels for coins or undiscovered treasures like unique gold chests or visiting the shop. The shop will contain 5 items for sale like stronger weapons in the shape of swords/wands or even a boomerang. Hats or armour for increased protection or potions to permanently increase your health bar or increase the strength and health of the crystal. Also contained in the shop is a book at the bottom of the screen, where players can check up on all the items collected and equip accordingly.
Battles for the most part are always fluid with no performance issues and carry a good feeling of involvement and addictiveness.
Like with most twin-stick shooters. The left stick provides character movement with the right stick to control the aiming reticle and ZR is used to swing the equipped weapon. What was particularly strange is that this common setup was not without a few faults. My right hand surprisingly started to ache with the constant holding and positioning during several levels of continuous attacks and also with most battles, the game employs a rather annoying screen “jolt” when there are multiple enemies on screen. Maybe it’s some effort upon realism on behalf of the developers but whatever it is, it’s annoying.
As instantly recognisable as more a homage to the 8 bit Atari classics of old. It graphically plays out a lot better than it initially looks. There’s a rather blocky old school player character that can get fused with items that make them look a bit more fleshed than originally starting but most environments and enemy types are easily recognisable and carry their distinguishable tweaks and animations with their attack patterns. Bosses may not be as highly detailed as you like or expect but they do the job and are no less menacing or easier because of it.
Sweet little arrangements of chiptunes throughout that are always welcoming and add to the flavour and nostalgia.
Apart from the “jolt” that’s annoying and not sure whether it’s deliberate or a bug. It’s a small game that runs well with no further points of concern. At a small download size, you certainly wouldn’t expect it either.
A game like this would be pretty much run through and beat without any real draw to return. Whilst that could be true here. Many will want to collect the items and treasures the game has to offer and complete the book and that means grinding completed levels to get the coin required or just to get items to enable you to complete tougher levels.
The amazing thing about this title is the value and the asking price. Which is a mere $2 of anyone’s money and worth that alone if only for a few hours on a commute.
Summary / Download Size
Overall, Gemini surprises by being a lot deeper than originally expected. Whilst there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking or revolutionary. Its great value price and pleasing content make this a decent recommendation for those players who want to “pass away a few hours” on something in between the bigger titles in their library. And at just 110MB, your SD card won’t even know it’s landed!
Thanks to QUbyte Interactive for the code.