This game has been in development so long, early Youtube videos for it still referred to the service as Xbox Live Community Games, but it finally came out earlier this year and it’s actually quite good. “37 Days to Die” blends Smash-TV, Ikaruga (though with some wrinkles that really differentiate it), a story told through motion comics, and more in an 80 Microsoft Point package that’s very much worth downloading.
The game’s feature set is impressive.
- score multipliers
- gun upgrades
- the aforementioned Ikaruga-esque colour switching (but with interesting ramifactions, more on that later)
- random enemies (within certain guidelines) for replayability
- offline co-op
- lots and lots of bosses
- and the aforementioned story mode, in addition to a survival mode
The title refers to the game’s 37 levels, and how each one is unique. There are a lot of enemy types, this is that rare game that seems to have benefited from a long gestation. The game definitely doesn’t feel like every other twin-stick shooter out there, so the developers have done a good job at making it stand out in a crowded genre. I was impressed.
Where many games in the dual-stick genre give you double-shot, triple-shot, quadruple-shot, etc., either automatically, or as a power-up. Here, you earn it through your score and multiplier. Each time you die, you have to start again from a single-shot. So how do you get up your multiplier so you can upgrade your weapon? You’re best able to do so through the game’s Ikaruga-esque colour matching: the longer you go without switching colour the faster your multiplier builds, but the more the screen fills up with enemies that you can’t destroy until you switch colours. It adds a level of depth that’s all too often missing from games like this, and differentiates it from other colour-based shoot-’em-ups out there, both of which are appreciated.
Another interesting element is that you occasionally have the ability to the distribution of enemy forces in waves before they’re launched at you. Unless you’ve played one so recently you wouldn’t consider another for a while, or even if you have, I recommend taking a strong look at “37 Days to Die” (even though I can live without the game’s description touting how “sexy” its protagonist is, I’d lose that in a future title update).
Here’s what the developer (NamicGames_0) has to say about the game:
“In order to save her mother, sexy Kim Brooks must fight off hordes of bad-ass aliens in a televised event known as Annihilator. So put on your space boots and shoot aliens in the face!”