#969 Starship Patrol

Posted: 31st March 2013 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

228th played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: DS
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Q-Games
Publisher: Nintendo

Starship Patrol? It doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. We know Q-Games worked on the previously covered Reflect Missile, but beyond that our first sources don’t allow us to look for much. Based on the book, we’re looking at a tower defense game set in space. With spaceships. Yeah.

Our Thoughts

The game is rather interesting. While the gameplay is based on tower defense, it’s a bit more restrained than you usually see. Where you deploy your guns and other items (the towers from other games in the genre) depends on the spaceship you’re patrolling with, with the enemies following set paths around your ship rather than being directed. This makes you focus more on placement and strengths than influencing enemy behaviour, which plays a bit more focused on what you place.

The guns are fairly straightforward, mostly with the usual (slow heavy hitters, quick ranged hitters and such) but some interesting bits. One of my favourites in interestingness (not a word) is the tractor beam, which you unlock later in a level (after you gather enough crystals). It does what it says on the tin, and can be invaluable in dealing with the later boss-level aliens – if you get them trapped in range of your guns, they are almost toast.

The different ship formations for each level and the different paths make for some nice variation and keep you on your toes – even partway through they may come in from a surprise angle that you haven’t covered, leeching away your health.

It doesn’t sustain that interest for too long though – in the end the gameplay here is similar each time, and you have to be in the mood to repeat all those puzzles. It fulfills the promise of a downloadable game in that sense – best played in short bursts of a few levels at a time.

The game feels like it has a similar sort of retro look as Reflect Missile – remarkably clean and simple in its presentation, which means you don’t get distracted. It’s clear what’s going on and what sort of thing you can expect from each enemy, with most of them easily becoming intuitive. It’s a neat way of doing things, and while the sterile look won’t work for everyone, it felt good enough for me.

Final Thoughts

Just like with Reflect Missile this is just one of those games that you can get for free on the internet or on smartphones and they are pretty much as good (sometimes better). I know that this sounds a little bit Scroogey but unless a game is old or groundbreaking I do feel a bit cheated having to pay for it when another title does the same for free.

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