To carry on my afternoon of Xbox Arcade action I picked up Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet… although I can’t see what’s insanely twisted about the planets?
The shadow bit comes from the silhouetted planet borders, which is very stylised, and the World’s are truly alien!
The intro shows your generic bug eyed alien getting encased in a traditional flying saucer, that you control in a non limited 360 degrees from the left thumb stick.
You don’t begin with any weapons, but a satellite dish scanner, to investigate around the noir world. In time you pick up other additions to your ship, a laser, grabbing hook, and shield early on, that are controlled from the right stick.
You have no instructions, except for the occasional icon, shown on a simple map. Save points are frequent and non intrusive… although after an hour of play time I’ve yet to need one.
So the challenge isn’t great, the puzzles not complex, but what does it for me is nostalgia.
Many years ago back at school a simple, but challenging game got me hooked on gaming (even though I’d seen Elite a couple of years before), Thrust, played on the BBC Mirco B(335 quid each nearly 30 years ago, wow!)
Thrust brings realistic physics and inertia-based movement into arcade games, directly influencing titles like Oids, as well as Exile from Audiogenic by the same author. The action is viewed from the side, with the graphics drawn in vectors, in keeping with the mathematical nature of everything that unfolds.
As a Resistance fighter, the player must fly into enemy lines in order to steal Klystron Pods to power more advanced starships, using your tractor beam to take them. A network of mounted guns are aiming to shoot the player down – these can be disabled by shooting their power source, but eventually this will explode, forcing the player to flee. Some of the later levels feature reverse gravity, which increases the difficulty of the gameplay.
And here’s a version someone has ported to java! 🙂
It has been good to be introduced to Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, if not just for the nearly 30 year flash back, and I probably will play more of it, it’s a cool stress free way to waste a few hours.