There was a time where we used to think that Space Invaders is the best game that couldn't be replaced with any game. However, as the technology that keeps evolving, shmup genre also evolves. Now, shmup game has totally adapting the technology within its genre, resulting in a much more beautiful product.
However, despite the quality improvement of the product, shmup genre is still the same as what it used to be when it's still called Space Invaders. Playing shmup is still challenging and adrenaline pumping as ever, not to mention the amount of lasers that pointed to our ship and how we manage to avoid all those lasers.
Bringing that same excitement and adrenaline is the latest game from Bloodirony Games as the developer and Noodlecake Games, as the publisher, it is a shmup game with laser and the love of kitty, Shooting Stars!.
Shooting Stars! takes place on Earth where Aliens have secretly conquered and replaced all the famous pop-culture in Earth. The "Intergalactic Association of Evil Aliens trying to Conquer and/or Destroy the Planet Earth" also known as IAEACDPE has found out that people in Earth has a weakness for heroes and celebrities, no matter how dumb they are. So, year after year all these aliens have captured and replaced earth's heroes and celebrities with evil marionettes to gain control over all human life.
You will play as Tscherno, a weird nerdy guy with glass and a hoverboard, and bringing a laser-shooting cat in his hand. Tscherno spent most of his life working for various media companies absorbed in endless daydreams about how awesome it must be to save the world from an invasion by evil aliens.
After an endless daydreams, Tscherno finally got his chance to end his daydreams after a sacred rainbow unicorn gave Tscherno mission to save all the imprisoned stars, fight back the aliens, and restore balance to the earth. To restore balance to the earth, Rainbow Unicorn Research Labs will equip Tscherno not only with his lazer cat, but also some crazy cool gadgets to help him. There are total 333 products that can be equipped by Tscherno.
In Shooting Stars!, it is basically an endless run, but with a more friendly package. You will be lazer-ing up waves of enemies, ranging from drones to lazer blasting fan girls (yep, sometimes fan girls doesn't know who they actually grew fond of).
After few waves of enemies, you will be facing the Boss that disguised as the celebrities or heroes. There are total five bosses to beat before the final boss appears. This final boss is the hardest one (obviously), and just like Ryan from Noodlecake Studios told me, he might be the greatest internet badass of all time. Upon finishing this final boss, you can continue to the next stage, where all the enemies become harder to kill and waay more aggressive than before.
The 333 products from Rainbow Unicorn Research Labs play a huge part to help you beat all the bosses. There are two kinds of products that can be collected, Super Fruits that acts as passive abilities, and Ultimate Weapons that acts as the huge bomb, or missile, or power, or whatever you name it.
Shooting Stars! has two game modes in general, Card Hunt and Daily Challenge. Card Hunt is the most basic mode where you, as Tscherno, will try to save all the famous earth superstars. In this basic mode, the five early bosses will be randomly generated. Not only the bosses will be randomized, all the power ups and waves before encountering boss will also be randomized. In this mode also, you can collect cards that also dropped randomly after you beat the boss.
The other mode, the Daily Challenge mode, is where you can show off your lazer-ing skills to other people. Every day, a randomly generated maps is created for everyone to play together. This means, everyone will get the same weapon drops, bosses and fruits will appear at the same place. What's left is your bragging skills then.
The Control and The Music
The control in Shooting Stars! is using hold and drag to move Tscherno and shoot the lazer at the same time. The control is very responsive and really accurate, so you will feel a rather smooth experience in avoiding all those nasty lazers. You can also use double tap to activate the ultimate weapon.
Since the graphics is using a pixelate art, the music behind is also giving a vintage feeling, sort of arcade in the old days. Not only just vintage music, music in Shooting Stars! also gets an upbeat tempo in order to support your adrenaline and increase tension.
Things I Like
I love every humors and surprises that appear in Shooting Stars!. From the memes that related to the celebrities as the bosses, until all the weapons description in the pause mode. It shows the intelligence and personality level of Bloodirony as the developer.
I also love the control responsiveness. I might say you can't even feel that it was there, the accuracy of the control allow you to do sharp turn without really thinking about it.
Finally my last love goes with the color choices that really got me into the game. Beside the retro pixelate art, the game itself is filled with a very colorful and brightful color choices, making it's a joy in the eyes. Moreover, the design characters of the heroes and celebrities look great, somehow you already know which celebrities they're referring without reading the memes description.
I'm totally recommending Shooting Stars! to all shmup lovers, really really recommend it. Not just because they're indie developer, but the tension, the graphics, controls, musics, and especially the personality behind Shooting Stars! is what keeps this game in another level. If you are into this kind of game, Shooting Stars! is a must have!
About Bloodirony Games
Bloodirony is a small Vienna based game studio fully dedicated to creating mobile indie games. They are passionated for music, food, mobile technology and most importantly for unicorns.The ultimate goal of their mission to eradicate boredom is nothing less than to save mobile gaming.
About Noodlecake Studios
Noodlecake Studios is the developer and publisher behind so many great indie games, including Super Stickman Golf, Flappy Golf, Beatdown!, Random Heroes series, Mikey Boots, up to award winning game, Wayward Souls.
Noodlecake Studios is founded in early 2011 and based Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The history started when Apple first introduced the iPhone and the App Store ecosystem. From a small dev teams with Super Stickman Golf series, Noodlecake Studios has now evolved themselves into a really great publisher.
Finally I'd like to thank Noodlecake and Bloodirony for providing Shooting Stars! for my most honest review.