Sep 24, 2012
It has finally happened. Retro Dreamer has teamed up with NoodleCake Games to release Velocispider for Android. The eponymous protagonist is half-velociraptor, half-spider, and also has a giant cannon on its head because it needs to protect its eggs. There’s an evil CEO with bionic marine life that wants those eggs because they’re apparently delicious. Well, no one eats a velocispider’s eggs without a fight.
Said fight is akin to Space Invaders or Galaga. Players tilt horizontally to move, and the cannon fires automatically upward at enemies. Tapping and holding on the screen charges up the cannon, and releasing fires a mighty blast that does a lot of damage and can take out multiple enemies in a row if lined up properly. The player has 3 lives and 3 eggs; losing all 3 eggs means game over, and keeping each one grants an end-of-level score bonus. Any hit takes away a life, though there are extra ones that enemies drop along with weapon powerups. There are 20 levels that are progressively unlocked, with new enemies to fight, including the nefarious CEO himself.
The game is absolutely ridiculous, what with flying robot octopi and giant enemy crabs. The game revels in it, and has ridiculous dialogue from the evil CEO to go with it. While there is plenty of challenge in later levels, half of the fun comes from trying to get high scores. This is best accomplished by starting from the beginning, and trying to survive. The powerups and extra lives help out a lot.
The game looks great, even on high-resolution screens, though because the game was originally intended to be played on a 2:3 aspect ratio, taller screens like the Galaxy S III have a lot of unused space, and because the game just shifts the picture down, it’s extremely noticeable. There’s another thing that the transition to Android really loses, and that’s high scores. Part of the fun of doing a high score run from the beginning was to try and best friends’ scores. Because there’s no Game Center equivalent for Android, the app just feels extremely empty, and the experience really loses something. Even just some basic leaderboards would be extremely welcome.
So, minus the lack of competition, Velocispider is as fun ridiculous as it ever was. Fans of retro-style shoot ’em ups will absolutely dig this game.