Overall Score 59%
Donuts in Danger
The Martians are a very misunderstood lot. They are not trying to invade Earth nor any other planet for that matter. They simply want to be at home, sitting back, relaxing and enjoying their favourite food - doughnuts. But when the Cubes attack out of the blue, apparently drawn to Mars by the soothing round shapes of the doughnuts, the Martians can not and will not sit by to watch their cherished snack foods devoured before their very own eyes. It's time for inter-planetary war folks - vertical shooter style.
The player controls a ship that can move freely along the bottom of the screen. The numerous enemies appear wave after wave from the top of the screen and shoot downwards towards the player. Even though the player is hopelessly outnumbered, luck is on their side in that the enemies only seem to be able to manage a meagre rate of fire as well as a semi-random firing pattern. Sound familiar? It should if you have been paying any attention whatsoever to video games over the last three decades.
In Donuts in Danger, the enemies drop crystals when shot that can be translated into points used between waves to upgrade the players ship. Standard upgrades such as increased fire rate, bullet damage and homing missiles are available at a corresponding increase in cost per level up. One-off special strike weapons are also available, however, the cost of these seems quite high for the amount of enemy damage done, and I found them of limited value. There is a decent variety of enemy types to battle, but by far the most dangerous in the later levels are those that will quickly try to land on the Martian surface, flying down in a pattern like the old "Space Invaders."
The overall difficulty level of the game is quite high. If you are not an excellent player of the genre then do no expect to progress much beyond level 25. I have tried for a good while now to beat level 26 and I am ready to concede defeat. The difficulty lies in the fact that the player has only one life. The players ship is protected by a shield, and extra levels of power for this are available in the shop between waves. The only way to save your game is to purchase a save which is also available in the shop menu and costs 50 credits, but often these are better spent elsewhere. Perhaps the key to the game is to save as little as possible, thereby adding to the frustration when your ship is destroyed. Only one game may be saved at any one time.
The graphics are quite basic - sprites overlayed onto a bitmapped background - and although there are some simple animations, explosions and a few particle effects would have boosted the score in this area. Sound effects are good if not particularly outstanding, and the background music fits the feel of the game nicely.
The game installed and uninstalled without any issues for me on both of my test rigs, and to its credit ran smoothly even on my old Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz laptop. The keyboard controls default to the arrow keys for movement and the left-control key for firing, but these are customisable and joystick control is optional.
Like all of Addictive 247's games, Donuts in Danger comes with a 60 day money back guarantee and technically is quite a sound offering. Ultimately, both content-wise, and in terms of longevity of gameplay, Donuts in Danger will be a hard sell for Addictive 247. The game is up against a lot of competition and even some free shoot 'em ups are going to give it a good run for its money.
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