Switch version tested
Review code provided
You’re in an arcade, set in the 1980s. Wherever is fine. Whatever you’re drinking is fine. Mellow Yellow, Pepsi or Coke or something else. You see the Space Invaders cabinet. Then, you thought: what would happen if you decided to take that game, and pulled off a Tron and you’re in it? in near 3D, more or less? Well, Super Destronaut: Land Wars kinda answers that.
The aesthetic takes itself to a level of ’80s detail with a bit of a Doom and/or Wolfenstein style. The game itself uses grids in a 3D world. Aliens in 2D engage you in a neon backdrop of a maze. Your weapons of choice blare in the sense of the theme and as retro as one can muster. The baddies with the sense of purpose. Accumulate a high score against a board with buyable upgrades. Run and jump. Shoot to kill with either guns, grenades, and rocket launchers to blow things up.
The currency factor can help with the onslaught of critters by giving power-ups. Increased pressure through machine guns, lasers, grenade launchers and the other iron ilk. One can even slow down enemies at a near bullet-time speed to hit them through these coin bought power-ups. Between the other modes, this is a nice thought for the waves one would have to endure more times than additional enemy adds.
The music is a blazing DJ techno/dance thing that blares through the screen. The challenges between the initial option and arcade offer loads of variety for the stationary background. More or less a maze with cover areas in neon and black. The enemies do look eerily familiar. Vanquished foes are replaced by small coins which could be missed if carefulness isn’t exercised.
The gripes of Super Destronaut is more mere nitpicks. Jumping itself doesn’t have much of a variable. You can avoid projectiles, but at least a jump over an obstacle? Probably not. It’s simplistic and not as much of a special move. The fact that we can edit different aspects of the game, such as bullets, is a decent idea, but against static enemies that only change in quantity more times than quality, as a puzzler, may have been a bit more of an overkill step. Still, I appreciate it. No fluff near the end with the speed. Enemy variation would have been great, also. Maybe an enemy that inspires you to put in more than one regular bullet in it. The wave triggers are hard to predict. At first, it looked as though it is done through deaths, but at some point, it feels like time is a more crucial factor.
In the end, Super Destronaut is a fun fan game that does the possible. Is it a new concept? probably not, but a nice idea that seems to page turn through nostalgia. It’s an enjoyable game to a point, yet with a couple of missteps, one who is with the Take On Me vibes, mixed in with the current club boppers, would love to see foray in the best of both worlds.
TBG Score: 7/10
Platform: Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 13/03/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: FPS, Arcade
Developer: Petite Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Download link: eShop