Day 18: Planet Crashmania 9,000,000

Posted: 2010/11/27 in Indie Games
Tags: , ,

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #18, and today’s game is “Planet Crashmania 9,000,000”.

This is one of those quirky games that works both because of the simplicity of its core game concept and the simple audacity of its premise. On each level you play the play the role of a doomed planet whose orbit is inexorably decaying and is about to spiral into its star. The population of the planet needs to be evacuated to an outer planet, safe from the ravages of the sun. You must alternate between building rockets to send some of your population to safety, or building nuclear missiles to protect them from threats.

And those threats are many. Asteroids periodically enter the solar system, potentially threatening the population either on the planet you’re escaping from or the ones who’ve already been evacuated to their new home. Aliens will sometimes attempt to intervene in your efforts and must also be shot down. Some solar systems have asteroid fields that further complicate your efforts. Finally, if you can get past all the other obstacles, you still have to manually launch each rescue rocket; if your aim is off and you miss your target then that chunk of your dying world’s population is doomed to the vacuum of space. Oh, and the planet you’re launching from is in constant (very fast) orbit around the star, as are the planets you’re shooting at (sometimes orbiting in the opposite direction), making for the ultimate moving target.

Planet Crashmania’s 9M’s quirky name carries through to the sound effects (listen closely to the sounds the people on the rockets subtlely make depending on whether they make it safely to their new world or not). This game doesn’t take itself too seriously, but offers up a simple concept that is well executed. It can offer a significant challenge in later levels as the obstacles mount up. Finally, there’s some replay value here as you can replay the game while trying to save a larger number of each world’s population each time. For 80 Microsoft Points, it’s a great game for people who enjoy twitch shooters or other games that require precise aiming. It’s in the “Classics” genre on Xbox Live, but I’m at a loss to know what classic game inspired this, it feels completely fresh and original to me.

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Comments
  1. Ricardo says:

    I thought I recognized the username when that awesome Intellevision buyers guide hit the front page of Kotaku! I remember you mentioning this blog on a thread somewhere, and I forgot to bookmark it then.

    Congrats on still going strong. My blog is lucky to get an update a week, if that. Anyways, bookmarked for sure now! Also, awesome WordPress theme.

    • Yes, that was me, though I hadn’t realised the Intellivision buyer’s guide had been featured on the front page! :)

      Thanks for visiting, and I’ll check out your blog nowt hat I know of it.

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