First, a warning. Today’s review is of a game that requires a bit of a learning curve. It reminds me of the good old days where games came with manuals, and they needed them. That’s not a bad thing, as investing yourself in it is rewarding when you finally “get” it, though expect to use up the 8 minute trial a couple of times going through all the tutorials.
“STRACO Episode 1” is an interesting, and unexpected, mash-up of two very disparate genres: twin-stick shooting, and tower defence. Wait, what? I kid you not.
Like a tower defence game, you place towers with various offensive and defensive abilities. Like a dual-stick shooter you hop into a vehicle and shoot up the enemy, but being this is a mash-up you’re doing so alongside your towers. The free moving element of the game offers unprecedented control over where you place your towers, and where your enemies might be coming at you from. Forget being restricted to placing turrets along predetermined paths that your enemy will slowly trudge along, this game breaks that paradigm.
Vehicles on offer are everything from huge hulking mechs, to helicopters (which play out a bit like an EA “Strike” game). Yes the learning curve’s a bit steep, but this game is so experimentative and does such a good job of bringing it all together, that it’s well worth its 80 Microsoft Points for those who have the patience to play around with it and master the game.
Here’s what the developer (Not Very Original) has to say about the game:
“Think you can save the world all by yourself? Well think again! Heavily outnumbered and out gunned, it’s time for you to start dropping towers like a crazy tower dropping tower dropper! Survive against the odds, beat back the enemy hoards, march to glorious victory, rescue the fair maiden… wait… what? Forget that last part.”