Jan 3, 2014
This is a phrase I didn’t expect to say today, but Fleet Of One is a top-down shoot-em-up that’s quite different from the other space shmups. It also looks quite a bit more logical. If the player is supposed to save the galaxy, as is usually the case, then the least you can do is give him a nice ship. Rather than piloting a flying version of a hybrid compact, the player controls a giant flying saucer with more guns than an army parade. But only two of them can be active at the same time. Oops.
Fleet Of One has unusual pacing. Strangely, it reminded me of Guitar Hero of all things. The ship’s steering can’t be controlled. The player only controls defenses: turrets and energy shields. There are five turrets that shoot when the player holds his finger on them. When the player drags a finger down the turret, it becomes shielded for a second. This shield can protect from energy beams, but it won’t protect from small suicidal ships that are eager to crash into the ship. The enemies come from different sides, but they only attack the turrets, so if the player is careful, it’s possible to destroy every enemy and block every attack before it reaches the ship. Even if it reaches, though, it’s far from the end of the level, as the ship has a health bar on top of the screen. It has several levels and slowly fills up when the player picks up the small power-ups, dropped by the enemies. Unusual thing here is that the ship’s health bar is also its firepower. The more levels it has, the stronger the ship’s attacks are, with the maximum level granting penetrating shots. But wait, there’s more! The power-ups can be destroyed by the player’s weapons! So, if the player wants to achieve larger firepower, restore health, or simply get a big score, he should avoid firing from a turret if there’s a power-up incoming. By the way, the turrets cannot shoot while they are protected by the shield. These unusual, limiting rules mean that the player needs to make lots of small decisions, aside from trying to shoot the elusive enemies. Thus, Fleet Of One manages to be rather attention-demanding, unlike the twitch-shoot gameplay of the common shmups.
The game has lots of levels, although they only differ by the challenging enemies that try to shoot down the craft, as well as several difficulty levels for the more skillful players. There are no unlockable goodies, or player level progression, which is a shame. Nevertheless, although Fleet Of One generally lacks content variety, it’s a great, challenging and unusual action that was a lot of fun for me to play.
Fleet Of One Review Rundown
Download: App available at the Google Play Store »