Overall Score 75%
Two years ago I started a review with the words 'Space Invaders'. The game being reviewed was Alien Sky, a game not unlike a certain retro classic. Back in 2004, we were also asked to review another game by the same developer, Kraisoft, the game that came before Alien Sky, a game called Atomaders, and I've got deja vu!
It is really hard to write about Atomaders having already played the follow-up. It isn't that this earlier game is bad, quite the opposite. No, my problem with words has more to do with the feeling that I've done this before, written this review already, moved on. Alien Sky was Atomaders Plus, an update in all but name.
There are differences, game mechanics in Atomaders that have been refined for Alien Sky for example, but you are essentially buying into the same game. Which leaves me wondering how I review a game like this?
In hindsight, I probably scored Alien Sky a little lower that I should have done. Back then I was a new reviewer, expecting great things from Indie developers, and Alien Sky just didn't deliver that for me, despite the solid presentation and gameplay. With Atomaders, I have the opportunity to partly correct that.
Atomaders (and Alien Sky) offers an easy pick up and play style that pays tribute to classics such as Space Invaders and Galaga. Presentation and visuals are superb; enemies and bosses particularly stand out. Mouse control is easy to use with left button firing and right button special weapons (move the mouse for ship control).
Play structure is pretty standard fare in this genre. Shoot down a screen full of aliens using your single shot cannon and the various special weapons available as collectable powerups and then proceed to the next wave (level). Complete a few waves and you'll reach a boss who will use his more advanced weapons to stop your battle. Defeat the boss and its off to the next world.
There are some nice touches in Atomaders. One powerup, the Asteroid Storm, rains down a shower of rocks which can kill both you and the attacking aliens, making life difficult for everyone. Other powerups give you special weapons that fire along preset paths, killing everything along their paths, giving the game a strategic element.
If you are looking for a challenging Space Invaders game, both Atomaders and Alien Sky fit the bill nicely. I can't say that either game will have you returning again and again, but both Atomaders and its follow-up offer compelling enough reason for at least one play-through. Personally, I think the price is a little high for just Atomaders... maybe Kraisoft could bundle the two together at a good price to make the purchase more enticing?
Keywords: atomaders review, kraisoft reviews, kraisoft games, atomaders scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.