The game plays like many old-skool arcade shooter games however with some new challenging twists. When most targets are destroyed they drop a pod, these pods must be collected by the player (increasing the players pow meter), if the pods fall past the screen bottom the target will re-spawn. The player has a dual use cannon system that will fire a shell if one is loaded and will fire a rather short range shell-propulsion blast each time the cannon button is pressed. This dynamic is strategically complected by the fact that holding the fire button will start the cannon cycling, the longer the button is held the faster the shells are loaded, however no propulsion blasts will fire in this case. When the cannon is cycling the ships engine is also accelerated (from the recycled propulsion-blasts) allowing the player to move progressively faster as well as deeper up the screen. The max firing rate is also limited by the number of pods collected. (meter top left) It is much harder to explain than play!
The game features endless progressive levels of difficulty, each wave brings more nasty bugs that are also more aggressive, and challenging. Procedurally generated space backgrounds, sounds, and music, to go along with the bugs AI generated flight paths, and devious reactions to the players moves. The game can be played equally well with strategic single shot targeting, or insanely fast cannon cycling shot barrages, however a mix of styles seems to provide the best bug removal and pod collection balance.
Windows 1.4.1 release is out now, with OS X and Linux to come at a later date.
This was a pleasure to watch, even though frustrating. It seem, I may have made this game too difficult to figure out for all but the hardcore. This guy was SO CLOSE!
Thanks to WhoKnowsGaming for doing the video and getting so close to cracking my unintentionally cryptic game mechanic.
What he missed; There is no POW loss for dying, it is the re-spawn delay that will likely result in some of the Cores falling off the screen. Each time a Core is lost, off the screen bottom, a Bug re-spawns, AND one POW is subtracted from the bar!
The shooting is a bit more complex than a single shot limit. There are actually two shots fired each time the button is PRESSED, one is the propulsion blast that fires the cannon shot up the screen. This will fire as fast as you can press the button however with a low POW bar these blasts are more of a melee type weapon. They do become very powerful with larger POW meter.
The main Cannon's shots have a long reload time, however as the fire button is HELD the propulsion blast are recycled, so no melee shots are fired, the main cannon fires faster and faster, till the POW bar is fully charged. Yes maintaining the POW bar in a Charged State will move the ship faster and further up the screen as well. The intent is to provide game-play options and no single way to play this game. Shooting Bugs quickly will cause many Cores to start falling, this is fine if the player can juggle ;) otherwise they will be loosing POW for each one they miss. Had he had a bit more POW on Wave 3, he would have seen the next Bug type 'The Flakers'.