September 21, 2011 | by Ben Crawford
Vertical-scrolling shooters get me excited. I don’t know if it’s space or rocket ships or hundreds of bullets on-screen at once, but playing a vertical shoot’em up is pure gaming to me. They require quick reflexes, tons of skill, and a small center in your brain for masochism. A Space Shooter for Free fills all the needs of anyone who enjoys punishing games by easing up a little bit on the difficulty and ramping up the mullet-shaped humor.
We are taken into the void of space by Commander P. Jefferson with only one objective in mind – killing aliens. There are no grey spots in Jefferson’s humorous vengeance against the aliens, only a black and white dichotomy: humans are good, aliens are bad. Luckily, vertical scrollers are built perfectly for this type of genocide.
Controls are simple. You use your finger to control the U.S.S. Eradicator’s movements, and it auto-shoots for you. There is an overdrive for a huge explosion that blows up everything on the screen, and five other special attacks for wiping out any alien in your path. The extra attacks are placed at the bottom of the screen and the overdrive at the top.
As with all vertical shooters, A Space Shooter gives you plenty of upgrades for your ship in the form of shields and weapon boosts. P. Jefferson even gives us humorous dialogue between him and the shop owner, a smokey, cleavage-busting, woman, Jenna Velasquez, probably just as experienced as our hero. Money is hard to come by in the free levels to pay for Jenna, but the paid levels are more balanced.
A Space Shooter is fairly replayable with side-quests, high scores, and upgradeables, and for only 99 cents, you can get double the levels of the free version. The fun of vertical shooters or any classic game is the unpredictability, and the AI in A Space Shooter will make each play-through a challenge.
Gameplay and graphics are smooth and detailed. I noticed some slowdown during gameplay, which is a bad fault for any fast-paced game, but this was only when I had multiple applications running (and on my RAM-lacking Xperia Play).
A Space Shooter has been on the Playstation Network and PSP for a while, but it is a solid port for the Android Market. I can say we are sorely missing vertical scrollers, and I’m glad for anything that can rival Air Attack HD. The dialogue and story are funny, if a little on the mature side, but A Space Shooter for Free is a great take on classic gameplay.
My Rating: 4/5 Dead Aliens
App: A Space Shooter for Free
Developer: Frima Studio Inc.
Price: Free (Extra paid levels)