Alien Space Retro, a shooter game worth playing

Jul 29, 2011
Games

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel in order to make something that’s worth playing, and Alien Space Retro, developed by Owens Rodriguez, certainly doesn’t reinvent anything. Despite the clumsy title, it’s a satisfying dual-stick shooter that is just addictive enough to keep you coming back for more. A remake of sorts of Alien Space, […]

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel in order to make something that’s worth playing, and Alien Space Retro, developed by Owens Rodriguez, certainly doesn’t reinvent anything. Despite the clumsy title, it’s a satisfying dual-stick shooter that is just addictive enough to keep you coming back for more.

A remake of sorts of Alien Space, Alien Space Retro is basically the same game, but with totally new “retro” visuals. Basically, what that means is that it looks like Asteroids now.

You can pick up a new mode for $0.99 that’s called Lost in Space. You’ve got no weapons, and a single hit from an asteroid will kill you. It’s different from the main game modes, obviously, and arguably more satisfying. Good work, guys.

As with other twin-stick shooters on iOS, Alien Space Retro is a little bit awkward at first. But I found myself getting the hang of it more quickly than I did with, say, Geometry Wars, but that’s probably because this title’s virtual sticks are locked in place and not appearing wherever you place your thumbs.

The hook to the game is its upgrade system. As you progress through the levels, you earn points that can be used to upgrade your little space ship and its weapons. Each upgrade feels like a tangible improvement, and so this totally works as a hook. I would keep playing just because I wanted to upgrade my ship again, and then I would keep playing to see how much the improvement helped, and then I was stuck in a vicious cycle.

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Alien Space Retro is a game I might actually revisit at some point. In my line of work, that’s called “high praise.”

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Phil Owen

Phil plays games for a living, which is exactly as awesome as you think it is. He lives in the Heart of Dixie with his big TV and iPad.

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