This is the first time ever I'm doing a review of a game that was one year old. The decision isn't easy because I thought to myself that reviewing a one year old game is like reviewing an outdated product. However, after spending some times playing with this game, I just can't put down the game, and I couldn't find any reason why I'm not posting this to Modern Jamming.
So, today's game, is coming from Canadian indie developer based on Toronto called ZeMind Game Studio. Released back in March 2014, approximately last year, the game itself is a space gun arcade with multidirectional shooter based named, Starborn Anarkist.
Starborn Anarkist: The Premise
The story of Starborn Anarkist (if you manage to notice it), is about many things. It's about a guy who wants to take revenge on his girl that cheating on him. On the other session, it's about a person that was framed and now chased by the authorities. In another dimension, you would want to complain because you found a bone in your favorite boneless chicken.
So in short, you will find so many reasons for you to create some destruction and anarchy. These many reasons even including a mosquito that keeps you stay up all night long. All of these stories will always be revealed in the loading screen before you start the game. So you can use those reasons if you were asked, "why you play all day long, don't you have anything to do?"
Starborn Anarkist: The Gameplay
Starborn Anarkist is certainly not a type of game with strong story. However, that little touch (try to notice it in the loading screen), will certainly make you smile before you start playing the game. I have my reason why you should try to at least relax beforehand. That's because once you start, there won't be any break for you to relax.
Starborn Anarkist is an endless space dogfighting shooter game. You have a spaceship, designed by yourself, trying to survive an endless waves of spaceships that coming from multiple direction. You have some goals, that is trying to survive and scoring as many points as you can, and also, completing achievements.
The first rule that need to be done to survive the endless waves is to be able to control your own spaceship. Starborn Anarkist comes with a dual stick, left stick to move your spaceship and the other to fire away the weapons. Starborn Anarkist is using physics heavily, so at your first experience, you won't be able to control your spaceship properly. However, as you play and learn how the spaceship moves, you will mastering this game before you even know.
The second rule is to build a good spaceship. In Starborn Anarkist, it is possible for you to build your own spaceship from scratch. There are some several components involved to create a proper spaceship. Later in this post, I'd give you some tips on how to create a well balance spaceship.
Back to building spaceship business. As I've said, there are several components involved in creating the spaceship. First of all, there's the spaceship's layout. This spaceship's layout will define the shape of the spaceship. Then, in the layout, you will put the weapons and equipments for your spaceship, including weapons, melee, shield, machine, and extra attachment.
There are 40+ weapons and equipments available that can be attached into your spaceship, and because there are no unique limits in part attachment, it's highly possible that your spaceship is unique and won't be the same with mine. However, you need to always unlock these equipments first before you can use them. To unlock, you need to do some sort of mission that even will require you to create a special spaceship just to do a particular mission. Missions are including killing enemies with only melee weapons, killing enemies without moving, killing bosses under a certain time, and etc.
Starborn Anarkist: The Music
All the music in Starborn Anarkist are created by themselves. ZeMind Games claimed that all the musics used inside the game are all original musics. Of course they put some preview of these hype musics that I think you would enjoy even without playing the game.
Things I Like
I love this game, I have so many things that I love from Starborn Anarkist. However, let's not exaggerate things and become a neutral reviewer. So, let's start with the good things I like from Starborn Anarkist. So the first good thing is of course the ability to build your own spaceship. Just like my new obsession with LEGO comes from the ability to build the bricks and create my own story, the moment I able to build my own spaceships, that's the exact moment I fell for Starborn Anarkist.
Just like the ability to create, there's also the ability to destroy; and I just love the way I can dismantle the enemies. So in Starborn Anarkist, you just don't simply shoot and destroy enemy's spaceship. Sometimes, you need to fly around to find some opening, there's always some area that weaker than other. Aim that spot and when you see the main part opens, it's the time enemy's ship will be going down.
I also love the stats that comes with the design of the spaceship. Beside making the spaceship design become more 'acceptable', it also become a cue on how your ship will look like and its performance. So for instance, if you put to many steel, your ship will become too heavy and too difficult to control. In contrary, if you just put too many weapon without steel, you will become easy target for enemy missiles. Bottomline, everything you create should be well-balanced in order to make your ship, more durable.
Tips and Tricks
Just like I've promised, this time there are some tips that I want to share with you. I know I probably doesn't score that much, but perhaps there are one or two tips that you might not know before. So hopefully, I could help that much, and I'm happy enough with it.
Always Aim to Unlock More Parts
The more the merrier. The more parts you're able to unlock, the better spaceship you'll have. Sometimes, during your game, you will be unlocking several achievements before you even know. However, I'd suggest to take a look at the list of achievements in the main menu, so you can prepare your spaceship beforehand. Perhaps, you should focus on unlocking layouts since layout can decide how much equipments your spaceship could carry.
Know Your Spaceships System
During the game there are three colors upgrade. While it seems that all three are just the same upgrade materials, inside each color, there are three different type of upgrades. First of all, you need to know that if you're still using the default difficulty, you won't feel any differences.
However, when you change it (from the main menu, tap settings, game, then change the upgrade system to INDIVIDUAL instead of UNIFORM), you will start to notice that there are gun upgrade, engine upgrade, and shield upgrade, in each particular colors. It means picking the same color in INDIVIDUAL mode doesn't mean you will get your weapon upgraded anymore.
Although it seems a bit more complicated, changing to INDIVIDUAL mode opens up a huge variety of the game. That's because for each color, each upgrade will do things differently depending on its color. I'll list down for you the ability of each color along with the upgrade.
- Green: Homing Missiles. The fire rate is very slow but the damage is high and affects targets around the explosion point. Increasing the levels increases the amount of missiles fired.
- Red: Quick Red Bullets. The fire rate is very high and the damage is moderate. Higher levels increases the number of spread on the shots.
- Blue: Shoots Laser. The fire rate is extremely fast (it’s a laser!) and the damage is high. Higher levels increase the length and width of the laser and adds more lasers.
- Green: Moderate acceleration, moderate maximum speed. The all-around engine!
- Red: Low acceleration, highest maximum speed. For those who like to build up to a fast pace.
- Blue: Fastest acceleration, lowest maximum speed. For those who twist and turn a lot.
- Green: A green shield will surround your entire ship. Slow regeneration. Upgrading increases the amount of damage it can absorb before depleting.
- Red: An anti-gravity forcefield surrounds your ship and deflects projectiles. Upgrading increases the force at which the projectiles are launched.
- Blue: A blue shield surrounds a small section of your ship. Fast regeneration. Upgrading increases the amount of damage it can absorb.
With this upgrade, you can choose which one suits your playing. My suggestion for you is to unlock and use magnet parts ASAP. This magnet parts will deflect all upgrades that aren't suitable with your current upgrade. At the same time, they will attract parts that suit your current color.
Favorite Ship Parts
There are some parts that I always brought during my game, not only because it will make my life a lot easier, it can also do something that give me more advantages. Should you know that my parts hasn't completed yet, so in any case I left something that's your favorite part, then it can be possible that I haven't been able to unlock it.
- Anti-Missile Gun - automatically shoots down enemy missiles.
- Auto Repair - slowly reparis ship over time.
- Turrets - automatically fires at enemies and can be placed in the center of ship
- Mach II Engines - twice the speed of space sound
- Magnet - attract upgrades you want, repel the ones you don't
- Stinky Ball - more powerful stench than the standard ball & chain
Tips for Designing Spaceship
My last tips is dedicated in designing spaceship. In my point of view, there are two things that need to note, health and speed. You can add more health to your ship by adding more hull plating. However, this come with consequences. Your spaceship will become heavier and harder to control.
If you prefer your spaceship to be a 'tanker' type, I suggest you look for blue upgrade to increase acceleration of your spaceship. Also try to use *engine buff and attach your mach II engines on it, it will increase your speed significantly while saving some spaces.
On the other hand, if you want to add more speed but don't want to die fast, I'd suggest to put auto repair in your spaceship. Also try to look for red upgrade (shield) as it will repel disturbing homing missiles from your spaceship. Don't forget to use magnet to help you get parts that suitable for your ship.
With just the space action arcade shooter, Starborn Anarkist is a pretty solid game. With all those breath taking dogfighting scene, modular enemies that can be dismantle, as well as the upgrades, it has enough content already. But this is why ZeMind Game Studio is awesome. They didn't just stop with it, but instead evolve it more with the ability to construct your own spaceship. Moreover, the story told in front, before we play the game gives a really great prelude. I think that all humans that like playing arcade shooter, shmup, and that kind of game should try Starborn Anarkist.
About ZeMind Game Studio
ZeMind Game Studio love games. ZeMind Game Studio love to play them all the time (along with making them!). So, they think its awesome that smartphones let you do that. Tablets are even better, with more space to play.
ZeMind Game Studio are a small, young studio whose aim is to create fun, creative games and entertainment apps, made specifically for smartphones and tablets.