Monday, 2 November 2009


Nothing nets you a Gradius style sidescrolling shooter; in the fringes of the upper atmosphere your finger piloted spacecraft bobs about whilst you trace targets around polite formation enemies. Prod a destination and your craft will shoot a missile at it. The joy of iPhone freebie SPACE DEADBEEF is firing off a glut of deadly ordnance at these player marked destinations. Mindlessly carpeting an area in laser, as you do in most horizontal shooters, is fun, but getting to actually select a terminus point feels rather novel. It's a simplistic, but effective design flourish, virtually impossible on any other platform. Deadbeef's heat-seeking excess also recalls Treasure's pixel overload puzzle shooter Bakuretsu Muteki Bangaioh (distributed as Bangai-O in Europe), a game brimming with the same targeting pauses and screen filling feedback. Delight holds just as long as the enemies remain reluctant to fire back, once combat intensifies the game asks your one finger input to juggle movement as well as aiming. It's an inelegant set-up frustrated by your craft's tendency to drift in the direction of your frenzied target stabbing. As a teaser though, Space Deadbeef has you rooting for more from creator Yuji Yasuhara and publisher IDP.

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