Panic Attack: The Devil's Favorite Game
DeRail Games first tripped our radar with their competent platformer Jump 'N Bounce. Guiding Hug, the adorable bouncing ball, through dangerous obstacles and labyrinths was immensely satisfying, but it unfortunately only managed to garner a close second place. We're delighted that their spherical hero is back for another run... but this time around, DeRail have taken the core mechanics and cranked absolutely everything up to eleven. This is no cutesy platformer. This is no walk in the park. It's a panic attack!
Panic Attack brings old-school retro platforming screaming into the next generation with intense speed and a brutal level of feedback. Spikes, falling ceilings, saws, flamethrowers, slaughter knives and myriad deadly challenges are countered with powerful cannons and turbo boosts that make nailing the best time for each level an exercise in split-second decision making and good old fashioned luck. The fact that Bounce is constantly... well, bouncing makes the action feel refreshing despite the old-school presentation. The upshot of this is that the experience is fairly difficult, but it's decidedly hardcore rather than simply being hard. Panic Attack provides a stiff challenge without ever feeling cheap, and intricate hidden routes provide several different ways of clearing each obstacle. 56 levels as well as a number of insane directors cut stages means that you won't be able put this one down for a long while. Not to mention the fact that your white, sweaty knuckles will be clenched onto the controller in a rictus grip.
In terms of presentation, Panic Attack is both subtle and absolutely astounding. True reverence has been paid to its retro (there's that word again) heritage with crystal clear HD visuals. Special mention has to be made of the music, which features tubthumping faux-retro tracks from veteran chiptune outfit 8bit Weapon. Trust me, it will evoke many happy childhood memories of playing on your favourite consoles from yesteryear.
Panic Attack is retro-cool, retro-hard and absolutely packed with value. 240 points is an standout bargain for the sheer amount of top quality content that it brings to the table, making it worth your immediate time and attention. Just try not to panic!
Radiangames are no stranger to our Indie games roundups. They consistently deliver imaginative and beautiful takes on the hackneyed twinstick shooter genre- and their newest title is no exception. Armed with nothing but a wicked speed boost and your own reflexes, your fragile ship has to dodge and weave around hordes of deadly enemies and pass close to floating proximity mines that bounce around the arena. Triggering these explosions decimates your foes, and the objective is to create as many devastating chain reactions and utterly rinse your foes with cleansing flame. It's a simple concept that is soon taken to satisfying extremes in later waves. As you'd expect from Radiangames, the slick graphics and ambient music are deeply professional.
Radiangames Fireball is yet another 80 Point masterpiece from one of the most accomplished developers on the scene. Consider this an essential purchase.
Commander: World 1
- Developer: Jodi Giordano
- Demo/Buy (80 Microsoft Points)
Tower Defence is an glutted yet infinitely addictive brand of tactical gaming- but every once in a while, a title comes out of left field Mixing simple 8bit graphics with achingly beautiful watercolour backgrounds, Commander: World 1 challenges players to defend solar systems from asteroid attack by employing and upgrading mercenares (towers). Despite the frantic action, the atmosphere is deeply serene and calm thanks to an array of Chopin piano tracks and the anarchic, friendly nature of the tutorials. It's lovely. There's no other word for it.
Commander: World 1 is a serene and profoundly gorgeous tower defence game that's accessible to newcomers as well as genre veterans. A bargain at less than a pound, considering that it's a bona fide work of art.