Saturday, February 22, 2014

PC Spotlight #80: Retrobooster

Title: Retrobooster
Developer: Really Slick
Platforms: PC, Linux
Price: $17.99
Cave flyers have been around for years and the focus on moving through tight spaces while also avoiding objects and enemies have proved to be a popular framework for challenging games. Now Retrobooster promises to take the genre to new heights with modern visuals and physics and the game absolutely succeeds.
What stood out the most, from the moment I started playing Retrobooster, was the visuals. Now in terms of textures and other details, Retrobooster isn't exactly photorealistic, but once the bullets start flying and enemies start exploding, the game is an absolute visual treat. The particle effects, the subtle lighting playing across walls and ceilings, the realistic smoke of your thrusters against surfaces, it turns the relatively simple gameplay of evasion, maneuvering, and shooting into an intense frenzy of light and color and particles that's a joy to watch in motion. However, Retrobooster is more than a visually stylish experience; it's a challenging action game that requires skill to survive. Learning how to control your thrusters, momentum, and inertia takes practice, but once you get past the learning curve, you'll be able to weave through the dangerous traps and thread between projectiles with ease. The level design shines here, from the deadly crushers and moving gears to the claustrophobic caves and tight mazes of metal and stone to precisely move through, all while evading bullets and firing your own.
If surviving alone is too much of a challenge, you can also team up co-operatively or destroy each other in split-screen deathmatch with up to four players. But solo or co-operatively, Retrobooster is an impressive visual experience that is as fun and challenging as it looks. You can learn more about Retrobooster and purchase it from the developer's site and Desura, and vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.

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