Jan 7, 2014
Spacebat is an old-school feeling game with an arcade touch. It’s simple in concept, challenging to play.
It comes in 2D form, with the sparse graphical elements that are usually associated with retro games. The protagonist bat is rendered in notable red, the background is expectedly black, and the other hand weekend make up most the game look.
The premise is simple: keep the bat afloat with the given controls by keeping it roughly central to the screen and not floating past the boundaries of the playing area (with the game boundaries are the sides of the hosting device). In other words, use the virtual controls to keep the bat alive as long as possible by not touching the sides of the screen. the controls are set to the sides, with specific dive functionality at the bottom of the screen.
Oh yeah… there are dangers on-screen as well, mostly in the person of snakes of different colors. These snakes have mean steaks, seemingly would love nothing more than to see our lovable flying mammal fail. There’s also stuff like cannons, and things that suck the bat in. Any contact with these things or projectiles they emit ends the flight.
As noted, staying alive is the name of the game, and bragging rights are measured in seconds. In true arcade style, there is a running score in seconds at the top of the screen; as to be expected though, it’s never that easy; as the bat’s lifetime gets longer, the enemies get craftier and more plentiful, moving in interesting ways and generally making it much harder to avoid them. Our bat does get the privilege of procuring power-ups, and these do come in handy, especially when things get tough. Stuff like walls and spinning blades add to the pressure.
The graphics are decidedly retro in nature, with minimalist elements tha effectively convey the gameplay. It probably could use some extra pizzazz looks-wise even within that paradigm, but the gentle touches still work.
But, as seems to be the new wave, simplicity wins here.