Before you buy, note that the Charlie's Games megapack deal is still running. If you just want Scoregasm, this is the cheapest way to do it, but the megapack contains loads more games.
Slightly cheaper than the Steam sale, except you'll get three extra free games! And Charlie Knight gets to keep Steam's 30% cut...
You can pay what you want for Bullet Candy, Bullet Candy Perfect and Irukandji - a minimum of $9.99 will also net you Scoregasm.
Platform: PC (reviewed) | Mac | Linux
Developer: Charlie's Games
Scoregasm originally caught our attention at Eurogamer Expo 2010, where its name alone (on top of arousing robotic moans of pleasure emanating from the headphones) warranted our undivided attention. Then it released last August. Then it was included in a Humble Bundle towards the end of the year. And now, finally, Scoregasm has made its way to Steam.
So it's probably high time we reviewed it.
Charlie Knight, the one-man indie SHMUP machine behind Irurkandji and Bullet Candy Perfect, has crafted a seriously hairy bullet hell shooter set inside a selection of small arenas. As enemies pour into the fray, you'll need to leverage the tried-and-tested twin stick control setup and your own faltering reflexes to weave through their insane onslaught, beat them back and accrue massive high scores in the process. It's business as usual as first sight: a hectic, pulse-pounding retro romp that might seem overly reminiscent of Geometry Wars and similar downloadable games to some players.
However, Scoregasm's brilliance lies in it's reckless innovation... on top of a few incredibly innovative touches that elevate Charlie's latest shooter into serious contention.
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I previewed Scoregasm last year, and the finished article is just as brilliant, reckless and awesome as we expected. Expect massive value, great visuals, classic SHMUP action... and a seriously cheap Black Friday voucher code price that's included in the URL. Definitely check this one out.
Indie outfit Charlie's Games are hard at work on Irukandji 2: the sequel to the critically-acclaimed and visually impressive PC/Mac shooter. Apparently the project started life as a testing app for their current project, Scoregasm, which is set for imminent release. In an effort to get some bug reports, testing and user feedback, Charlie has released the first level of Irukandji 2 as a free download. The file contains executables for Windows, OSX and Linux - so quite frankly, you have no excuse to download it, try it out and let the developers know what you make of the experience.
Get it here. Be sure to note that you can change the resolution by tinkering around with a .txt file!
Rather than traditional keyboard inputs, Irukandji 2 features extremely responsive mouse controls that make grazing past bullets for bonus points an absolute breeze. Quite frankly, I may actually have trouble getting used to twinsticks again.
The Eurogamer Expo may be playing host to some of the most anticipated AAA titles of the coming year... but listen up, folks. The Indie Games Arcade contains some of the most imaginative, creative and genuinely fun game experiences to be found in Earls Court 0ver this weekend- and we'll be bringing you in-depth previews as well as opinions from the developers themselves. First up is Scoregasm from Charlie's Games.
Sometimes a name can be mysterious and misleading ... but Scoregasm does exactly what it says on the tin. Charlie Knight, the creative force behind Charlie's Games, explained that he was fed up with every level of twinstick shooters taking place in identical "square boxes" and having the same basic flow- and thus designed the experience to constantly challenge the player with new experiences. Each level boasts a differently-shaped arena, surprising new enemies and incredible visuals. Collecting powerups and accumulating points constantly power up the ship's weapons to insanely devastating levels, each of which are stackable with each other.
Frantic doesn't begin to describe the action. Technicolour hordes swarm towards the ship, and unbroken walls of projectiles soon threaten to engulf and destroy the fragile craft. The sheer ferocity of the assault is enough to make even hardened SHMUP veterans break a sweat. Luckily it's also one of the most responsive shooters I've ever played, since Charlie spent the best part of a week getting the movement exactly right. Rather than settling for standard analog control, Scoregasm actually equates each thumbstick movement to the same distance on the screen, and it makes weaving through bullets extremely intuitive. It's 1:1- and undeniably brilliant.
More importantly, the ship can emit a close range radial pulse that annihilates nearby enemies and incoming fire. Rather than the limited stock of smart bombs that most shooters tend to arm players with, this ability can be used indefinitely... so long as you're continuously killing foes in order to recharge it. This may sound relatively simple, but it's absolutely vital for success.
As you'd expect, score is king. Not only does your total dictate the difficulty settings available in the next level, but scoring highly enough treats players to a Frenzy. Fireworks explode, new waves of enemies spawn and swarm, and the audio bursts forth with what I can describe only as an electro-synth orgasm. It's a glorious assault on the senses.
The campaign will feature 43 levels and multiple difficulty levels, but to add extra variety, a number of minigames provide an unexpected breath of fresh air. Making coleslaw by shooting vegetables into a shredder or shaving a man's face is a hilarious change of pace! Despite occasional funding problems (which is unfortunately a regular occurrence in the Indie scene), Charlie explained that gameplay development evolved organically rather than sticking to a rigid plan- and it's great to see a game that strives to be constantly enjoyable rather than taking itself too seriously.
Scoregasm is currently available to preorder- and the beta's currently underway. Why not head over to Charlie's Games and check it out?