|Publisher: PuppyGames Genre: Arcade|
|Min OS X: Any Version|
Titan Attacks is a fixed-screen top-down shooter; otherwise known as a "Space Invaders" clone. It goes much further than the average clone, though. The variety of enemies isn't too great, but is certainly good enough to keep you happy for the entire 100 levels and beyond. The bosses are generally easy to defeat, but are still a challenge for the average gamer. Throughout the levels, you can purchase various upgrades to your ship like more shielding, smartbombs, and a bigger gun. The game's main purpose is to survive as long as possible and save the world as many times as you can.
Sounds like fun, right?
GameplayI was torn when choosing the gameplay score. I consider all but the worst Invader clones to be highly entertaining. But I sucked it up and created a system for grading it. The game would start with ten points and I would take a point off for anything in gameplay that I found rankling. There certainly weren't many of those, as you can see from the score.
Before I get into my complaints, I'll go into what I was happy with. First off, the basic gameplay is actually very fun. The shop after every level really gives you a reason to kill that last ship or hunt down that last bonus. (The bonus stages become entertainingly difficult later.) The enemies are quite varied, ranging from laser ships to bombers and coming in many shapes and sizes. I also found the bosses to be entertaining, if not very difficult. (Only the final boss really is a challenge.) They come in a single flavor, unfortunately. All the bosses are the same basic shape with more guns and shielding added on for each one.
The game also has an online high score table, which was at least incentive enough to attain a score, if not to try for first place. (I eventually got up to #12 on the list.)
The game speed and performance is excellent. Even on my eMac, the game ran perfectly in windowed mode. In fullscreen mode, I saw no major slowdowns whatsoever on my G4 and only minor slowdowns on my eMac. The slowdowns were influenced by the amount of action on the screen, so you can assume a weak computer won't be able to remain at full speed through the deaths of fifty aliens in close succession.
This leads into the first of my two complaints. When you are fighting in the later levels, it is common for dozens of aliens to die at the same time and fill the screen with flashes and explosions. This generally makes it so that you can't see those still alive for a little while and you can end up getting badly damaged because you couldn't see a ship dropping its payload.
The payloads are another matter entirely. In the early levels, the bombers move side-to-side and slanted. In the later levels, they begin to just sit in one spot and drop bombs very fast. Regularly, the explosions are too close together for you to get a shot off at them. When you are low on shields, this can end the game for you.
Despite those two problems, I still had a good time playing this game. The gameplay becomes repetitive after you beat the game a few times, but that's to be expected of an Invader clone. The purchase system keeps you interested, the enemies are varied enough to give you a little trouble, and the bosses give a good climax to each section. Titan Attacks is definitely worthy of an eight in gameplay.