Day 426: RAID

Posted: 2012/01/10 in Indie Games

Wow, this one blind-sided me. From “Silver Dollar Games 2” (presumably a reaction to the original Silver Dollar Games hitting the limit of the number of indie games they’re allowed to release, thanks to never-ending shovelware) comes “RAID”, a game that’s surprisingly addictive and enjoyable.

It’s not the first time. The makers of “Try Not To Fart” and other terrible shovelware games also produced “Blow”, one of the best in the indie games channel, and “Mirror” which was also excellent. Add to this list “RAID”.

“RAID” succeeds by evolving the quick-time events (first popularised by Dreamcast classic Shenmue) into a new form, and with at least one major innovation: quick time buttons you must *not* press. “RAID” also maintains the need to respond quickly, but somehow offers a bit more flexibility in response time without making the game too easy. Confused? Read on.

You take control of a police squad (SWAT team, ERT, etc.) entering a building filled with armed criminals, some with hostages. Each level has you breaching the building, and then sweeping it room by room. The game has a “fog of war” element, where you can only see into a room as you breach it. You press a controller face buttom (ie. A, B, X, or Y) to enter a room, and then are offered a set of different face buttons to shoot each person in the room. Here’s where it gets interesting: you must hit each button quickly enough that you shoot the criminals before they shoot you, but not so quickly you accidentally shoot a hostage. In this way the game has more in common with arcade light-gun classic Hogan’s Alley than it does Shenmue, God of War, Heavy Rain, or any other game with quick-time events.

There’s also a sniper feature, that let’s you call down a police sniper when entering. The trick is you have to make the decision in advance despite the fog of war, meaning you might get the sniper to position themselves only to find out that room is empty, and you only have so many times you can call them in. The sniper will take out any enemies in their line of sight, though, if you gamble correctly.

As you progress through the game the rooms get more numerous and the hostages and other challenges more common. The game is insanely addictive, with that “just one more turn” quality that keeps you playing over and over again.

Here’s what the developer (Silver Dollar Games 2) has to say about the game:

“Winners don’t use drugs.”

  1. Silver Dollar’s almost multiple personality situation confuses me. It’s as though there’s one person producing genuine games, and all his friends use his account to release rubbish while his back is turned.

    I’ve heard it speculated that Silver Dollar use their shovelware releases to fund their more serious efforts. Hmmm.

    In any case, when I originally played Raid’s trial version, I almost exited and deleted the instant I saw that dreaded name attached. But it turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable. Not enough so for me to buy it, but it was still a pleasant surprise.

  2. David Loves Sandy says:

    Ditto Alan’s comments. Silver Dollar I pass over most times just because but I’m happy you brought this game to my attention. I don’t see me buying it but while trying the demo it was enjoyable just not enjoyable enough to want to spend a buck on it.

  3. Jon Flook says:

    We are a confusing couple people. We admire your willingness to speak your mind just as we do in our games.

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