Oct 9, 2013
Null Divide+is a very interesting little gem that’s been released recently: it’s a Metroidvania-esque top-down shooter. Players control a spaceship flying around different space stations, shooting aliens and exploring the halls, collecting keys and upgrades to get deeper, trying to survive.
It’s got the standard Metroidvania formula (persistent characters with upgradeable statistics, an open world that’s connected and invites re-exploration), but with the uniqueness of being a top-down shooter. This means that there’s dodging attacks, and shooting in 360 degrees, but all in a semi-persistent environment. Enemies respawn, but upgrades are permanent. Dying brings one back to the last checkpoint they reached, which refills the health and boost bars. The controls reveal that later upgrades will come to bring other weapons such as bombs, which should help with the strategy. And of course, the design is such that certain elements are placed tantalizingly just out of players’ reach, inspiring them to come back later when fully decked out. It’s a great mix, and the NES style only helps the atmosphere of the game.
Now, the game is more on Android functionally than it is practically – the game is not optimized at all for touch controls yet, particularly as it requires a keyboard and mouse to be plugged in to use it. It’s really just been compiled for Android thanks to Flash more than anything else. However, the game is perfectly playable, so connect a keyboard and mouse up via Bluetooth or a USB host cable for devices that support it, and fire away! By default, the game uses WASD for movement, and clicking the mouse will fire wherever the pointer is.
The game is available as a free download from MTMB Studios’ web page. It’s not on Google Play yet – and likely would require some touch screen optimizations to do so – but for those who can play it, it’s worth checking out, though the Android version has some issues with save data on the device I tested out on. Try it on PC, Mac, or Linux first, but keep an eye on this one. If ever released with touch screen controls, it could be a ton of fun on the go. If you can’t play the game on Android, check out the hands-on video below: