Do you like Space Invaders? Sure, it’s a classic, but answer honestly, when was the last time you played it? Does it still hold up? Well Puppy Games and Curve Studios have decided that they want to bring this concept into the 21st century with their own take on the alien shoot-em-down (see what I did there?) Titan Attacks.
The premise is simple, you shoot aliens down as they move across the screen, racking up hi scores as well as collecting money for killing your intergalactic foes. The clincher here however is that unlike Space Invaders, Titan Attacks allows you to upgrade your tank with a variety of items from shields to higher powered weaponry to smart bombs that clear the entire play field of enemies with the single press of a button. This brings a whole new dynamic the core Space Invaders-esque experience allowing you to spec your tank as you want to. Of course once your shield is lost and you are killed, everything resets, you lose all your money, forcing you to start all over again.
The aliens in Titan Attacks are varied, each with their own movement patterns and strengths. Not only is there the typical move side to side drop down a level types of aliens, but later stages introduce stationary spaceships that take multiple hits to aliens that bounce off the edges of the play field. Occasionally an alien will parachute down after you blow up his spacecraft which you can collect for added bonuses and points. The homage to Space Invaders is clear even down to the space ship scrolling across the top of the screen and once the ship has been destroyed, goodies are dropped if you are skilful enough to shoot them down, these can be bonus points or even one time use upgrades such as the shield or a rapid burst fire for your weapon allowing you take down the remaining enemies in a a few seconds.
Sprinkled in and amongst for added enjoyment are the boss fights and bonus stages. Bonus stages happen after every few levels tasking you with destroying all of the ships that appear on screen, with prizes available for perfect scores. Boss battles are the titular Titans, with their own weapon types and weak spots, Titans can prove to be difficult further into the game. Speaking of difficulty, the game tries to overwhelm you with the amount of enemies it throws at you in later levels, but given that you can spec your tank out with more powerful weaponry to smart bombs, it doesn’t prove to be the most difficult task to get through the game in one piece.
The whole look of Titan Attacks is simplistic but effective, with its pixelated dystopian backgrounds really showing the shear destruction as you battle the alien scum on five different areas. These include Earth, showing the true destruction that the aliens have inflicted on the world to the Moon where asteroids from the old-school arcade game Asteroids are present, which are yet another object that needs to be avoided as well as incoming laser fire from an alien ship.
Overall Titan Attacks is pretty fun if you want a quick fix between your bigger triple A titles. While it’s charming and holds some appeal it’s not going to keep your attention for too long before wanting to move to something else. Upgrading your tank between stages add a new layer to the tried and tested Space Invaders formula and is still really fun to shoot down enemies, with some levels overwhelming you with the amount of alien ships on screen, all whilst trying to dodge incoming fire as well as other falling objects hurtling towards you. Having leaderboards adds a competitive aspect to the game, but other than that it’s a simplistic arcade shooter with no online or co-op to speak of. While this was reviewed on the PS4, this feels more suited for handheld gaming platform; with cross-buy functionality included the PlayStation Vita version will probably have more lasting appeal than it’s console counterpart. Failing that Titan Attacks actually wouldn’t go amiss if it eventually appeared in an arcade near you.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 3 / PlayStation Vita / PC Release Date: 07/05/2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Worms Battlegrounds for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on a PlayStation 4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy,click here.