Super Crossfire Review

Super Crossfire Review

Oct 14, 2013

Earlier this year, Radiangames published all of its mobile games on Google Play. Well, all except one: Super Crossfire. iOS gamers were well aware of it from its Chillingo-published version in 2011. Even Blackberry Playbook owners knew about it because Unity Games published a version on there. Now in 2013, Android owners finally get to play this flip-floppy space shooter, and it has been well worth the wait because it is a brilliant game.

At its heart, Super Crossfire is essentially Galaxian but with the ability to flip to the other side of the playing field. This allows players to avoid shots that come in, of course, but it also becomes necessary to take on the complex enemy formations that are encountered. Some enemies can only be hit from one side. Some enemies with giant lasers are best faced from the back. Some enemies provide shielding to nearby enemies and must be taken out. Thankfully, players also have a powerful super attack that recharges by collecting gems, to help wipe out the trickier formations.

Honestly, the game is more fun than the average space shooter because of the simple complexity. Players learn how to survive in quick order, and it just becomes an instinctive thing. Basically, just avoid the bullets and lasers, kill the UFOs that go past to get their lucrative powerups, and just don’t screw up.

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The upgrade system plays a helping hand as well. Players get additional points every 5 to 10 levels that go into one of eight stats from additional health to more firepower. The best part is that the upgrades can all be reconfigured as needed. Didn’t like that shot spread upgrade and want to bank the points toward an additional armor point? Do it! It’s kind of a Radiangames tradition, and it’s a great fit here.

The Android port is great: the game is faithfully intact, and its graphics, while largely flat, have the same great effects. It’s a stylish game. The touchscreen controls are effective enough, but want to really have some fun? Get a gamepad. Super Crossfire supports HID gamepads and is a ton of fun with it. I feel better at it, but it also might have just been a good run I got on where I beat the game in one sitting with a gamepad. Still, this is one where it’s fun to sit back and enjoy the game with actual controls where possible.

As well, there’s Google+ support for leaderboards, achievements, and cloud saves, featuring a friendly warning dialogue when switching devices to load from the cloud.

The intense retro-style shoot ’em up action that encapsulates Super Crossfire makes it one of my favorite mobile games of all time. Two years later, with this perfect Android version, it only reiterates how great this game is, with its hundreds of levels, upgrades to unlock, multiple difficulty levels, and more. There’s a lot to do and a lot of fun to be had. Buy this game.

Retro Cosmos Review

Retro Cosmos Review

May 9, 2011

The old school has found a comfortable, well furnished home in the snug confines of your pocket. You need only take a cursory glance at the Android Market to find remakes, re-imaginings and re-inventions of all the games the kids were playing twenty or thirty years ago. It should come as no surprise when I tell you that Retro Cosmos is, to all intents and purposes, a simplified touch screen version of Space Invaders.

Maybe simplified is the wrong term – changed around a bit might be more accurate. Whereas in Taito’s classic arcade game you had scenery to hide behind, you’re afforded no such luxury here. You are, however, able to move forwards and backwards on the screen – gamers in the late seventies could only dream about such a revolution.

The rest of the game plays out in decidedly familiar fashion – waves of enemies swoop down the screen towards you, firing pixel sized bullets, and you have to shoot them before they destroy you. Some of the alien craft carry power ups that they drop when destroyed, which give you extra lives and more powerful weapons.

It would be easy to dismiss Retro Cosmos as another in the swathe of old fashioned blasters that litter app stores around the world, but you’d be doing the game a great disservice. It may not win any awards for originality, but what it does, it does remarkably well. The touch screen controls – you guide the ship with your finger and it fires automatically – work fantastically, and the sense of accomplishment you get after completing a wave is almost palpable.

Retro Cosmos is by no means a perfect game, the collision detection is a little off and sometimes it’s quite bland to look at, but that shouldn’t detract from just how enjoyable it is. It’ll never win any game of the year awards, nor will it win any prizes for style or innovation, but it is a lot of fun and sometimes, that’s all you really want.