Everyone loves Tetris. But what about a single, angry, violent Tetris block with laser guns that came to take its pixelated revenge!?
Welcome, space traveler!
Welcome, dear friend to the first article of the Honest Feedback series where I will be looking at Indie games and sharing my first gaming experience with a given game. These articles are aimed at any indie developers out there who want to know what is out there, to gather some inspiration or just to simply use them to reflect on their own game design.
First, we visit the strange planet of DISASTR_BLASTR
That is the background story I have decided to give to my block character in the action shooter game named DISASTR_BLASTR. This game is available on Steam here.
How does it play you ask?
Well when you start the game, you get a bit confused to be absolutely honest. Actually, the level selection was so confusing for the first time, that it took me quite some time to realize that the "stuff" on the right side of the screen are actually the levels and their completion state. With that realization came also the second one - that the left preview was a preview of the selected level, and that you had to double click to start the level.
Once this embarrassing moment was over and I was in the level, the controls and movement were very smooth. It took no time to figure out what to do - kill kill kill... well at least in the first level that is. Gameplay was intuitive, although some “help” screen with the explanation of how to shoot, what are the combos and such would be a nice addition, but not really a requirement or necessity.
The sound effects in the game are very professional, and some are even funny.
In terms of weaponry, there are a plethora of pickups that can enhance your weapon and change its fire capabilities. Some resemble lasers, some shotguns, over time you will be able to distinguish by looking at the pickups which weapon is which. So you can always make sure you only pick up the guns you feel comfortable playing with (never pick up the three dots in a triangle shape - worst weapon ever, really...).
Once you finish your first level you will be surprised by the music, for me it was a pleasant surprise, but it depends on your preference of music genre... no, I will not spoil it for you! (It made me laugh and headbang a little)
Talking about levels, there are quite a few of them. Now that on its own would not be any good if they were repetitive. So the really good news is that the level objectives vary from level to level. Oh, and before I forget - there are multiple paths you can take and complete the levels (some, not all). When you combine all of the above-mentioned factors together you can start to see that this game whilst being a rather simple looking one, has some real replayability value.
Not to mention that you want the highest score, of course (o share with your friends on twitter!).
Steam achievements are another little perk that is like the Pokemon - you gotta catch 'em all!
If you want to see how the game plays before you make a decision if you want to buy it, you can watch this video on YouTube that shows my first gameplay of DISASTR_BLASTR
Now let us have a look at specific aspects of the game.
Simple, with bright colors. I think that sums up the visuals of this game. Nothing wrong with that. But it can be a little boring after a couple of hours of gameplay. What redeems the simplistic tile sets are the particle effects that liven up the levels and make the gameplay more enjoyable.
As you would expect from a game with these looks the music is of the simple 8bit chiptune genre. It supports the visuals and creates a coherent experience. Sound effects are also of a higher quality and some of them are even funny!
I would not call this game hard, but I am also hesitant to call it an easy one. As you progress the levels get harder and you will have to re-play some of them to succeed.
Simple, but challenging. As I stated before it would be nice to have some form of a "tutorial" level where you learn about the pickups and such. But that can all be learned while playing the levels with a little bit of patience.
I had no issues with learning the concepts of the game.
The most difficult part of this game to understand and make sense of was the Menu... oh the Menu...
DISASTR_BLASTR is a rather simple looking, but surprisingly rich game. Yes, I know the levels look quite alike as the visuals are crude and little rough around the edges, but the possibility to complete each level in multiple ways kind of balances that. Combined with good music and pretty looking particle effects you will definitely get your money's worth if you decide to buy this game.
Learn more about DISASTR_BLASTR
Steam Link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/431200/
Developer: Dog Theory