#979 Reflect Missile

Posted: 19th February 2013 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

218th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: DS
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Q-Games

Sure, we covered some famous games. A few days ago, we had Mass Effect, we started off the iconic Pong, and covered all sorts of big games in between – SimCity, Final Fantasy VII, Portal and more major games. Often, however, the more interesting games are the more obscure ones – The Path really got to us, Facade was amazing and probably most amazing, Flower recently had a big effect on us when Peter managed to finish it.

Reflect Missile squarely falls into the latter camp, the unknown title that is actually so obscure, it doesn’t have its own Wikipedia page – sure, not a major distinction, but telling all the same. It’s less artsy and high brow – more an indie shooter – but it may still work.

Our Thoughts

Reflect Missile is an incredibly straight forward shooter. The aesthetics are seemingly retro, although on DS they look so off that they don’t actually feel retro somehow – futuristic, but off. Still, ignoring the slight oddness in the aesthetic mix, this feels like a game we could’ve seen released 20 years ago. Not because of the conrols – which we’ll get to in a moment – but the game plays like a thirty year old game.

The idea is simple. You’ve got these missiles that are spaced at the bottom of the screen, three, five or seven sets of them. Each set has between one and three missiles, most of the time, of a few different types – usually one that reflects and bounces around, but there’s also a driller and a bomber. These go around a typical Arkanoid/Breakout-style screen, with blocks arranged in different patterns that you can break. Rather than breaking all the blocks (which would be difficult with the few different missiles you have), you need to break a few special blocks, flashing blue, green and red.

To help you out, you get a few power ups – double your power ups, turn reflect missiles (see what he did there?) into a bomber and so on – which can be helpful, but it doesn’t help all that often either.

A simple idea that’s fun, but quite dated – surely it could have been done before. The one thing setting it apart, however, are the controls. Rather than using a joystick or such to control your angle, you use the touch screen, rotating it between the missiles. It sounds neat, but is quite difficult – as you shoot the moment you lift your stylus, a slight lack of attention after pressing down for a while, it’s easy to miss a shot. Add to that the rotation can become quite impossible if you don’t press down at the right time – you may not be able to make the angle without moving your stylus again so you can move further over, which is so instinctive it creates several missed shots.

Another thing that I need to work out is why they produced a game for the DSiWare store without making much use of the cameras. It’s a small point but one that needs to be made.

While flawed, however, the game gets addictive. Because of how short the levels are, it’s easy to try one more time and see whether you can make it that time, which can be incredibly time-consuming… but then again, if it draws you in this far, that’s what it should do, right?

As fun as this game is better versions of the ‘limited geometry shooter’ have since been made and are available for cheaper than this was. When you have played some of these (such as the addictive Stupid Zombies) the sparkle of this game is a little bit duller. It’s unfair to make this comparison since three years have passed and things obviously move on.

Final Thoughts

Since Stupid Zombies is an iOS game it obviously won’t be available to everyone (then again how many people have a DSi or 3DS). In fact even making a comparison with a game that was a twinkle in the developer’s eye is a little but unfair… still… if I can save you some pennies… then I shall.

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