Game Review: Krazy Alienz
Release: November 20, 2010
Genre: Arcade Shooter (ala Space Invaders)
Developer: jk’s games
Available Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade—Indie
MSRP: 80 MSP ($1)
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone (My best guess)
Krazy Alienz is an Arcade shooter in the spirit of Space Invaders—Rows of different enemies fire lethal bullets at you while dancing back and forth in perfect formation. Three different modes at three difficulty levels will keep you on your toes while your friends can jump in at any time!
The basic gameplay remains the same across normal and skill-shot modes. You control a ship that is only capable of lateral movement and fires single shots. Four barriers will give you something to escape the barrage and take a breather. Unfortunately, as the barriers get shot by the alienz OR you, they will fall apart until nothing remains to shield you. Every time the rows of alienz reach the side of the screen, they will inch closer and march back across. Occasionally, a UFO will fly across the top of the screen and drop colored spheres. Shooting the sphere will award you with a random powerUP, but if the sphere hits your ship you are penalized with a random powerDOWN.
The difference in skill-shot mode is the order in which you dispatch the alienz. The target alien flashes in a rainbow “Shoot me!” fashion and will remain that way until you shoot it. Hitting the wrong alien will not only cause your death, but the game will point out exactly who failed if you are playing locally with friends. A little tip: the UFO will only drop two kinds of powerups in this mode, Slow and Rewind. Obtaining these is sometimes necessary to complete the level!
For better or for worse, this game is hard. Despite only one mode being labeled “Skill-Shot,” you will quickly find that blindly firing will get you nowhere. The fact that only one of your bullets can appear on the screen at one time is a testament to the difficulty of retro shooters. The old-tyme graphics are fitting for this style of game, but Krazy Alienz brings a new feature: After each level, there is a stats screen that shows each players’ shots fired, hit percentage, score, UFO kills, and a few other categories. This is an added dimension to the game that promotes co-op play.
For the longest time I had no idea that shooting the UFO’s colored spheres gave you a powerup. My gaming experience has taught me to avoid anything that is being shot, launched, thrown, etc. I definitely could have used a mini-tutorial explaining the nuances of the game, such as the bonus points you get from shooting an enemy bullet or scoring a “Side-splitter.”
I also noticed that the difficulty level does not scale with the number of players in the game. If you are playing solo, you are essentially forced to play on easy to make it far. By the same token, if you are playing with three friends, you have to play on hard so you don’t get bored.
This is a good (local) multiplayer option at 80 MSP. There aren’t many games at 80 MSP that will let you scratch that co-op itch.
- Affordable (80 MSP)
- 1-4 Local Co-op Multiplayer
- Three modes and three difficulty levels
Final Score: 7 out of 10