Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Game of the Day - Repulse
Repulse. Another obscure programming gem. Repulse is a vert shooter where you fire from some sort of futuristic tank/ground-based vehicle at a myriad of incoming aliens. (It's ALWAYS the damn aliens).
You have two buttons to win the battle. Fire and shield. The issue with the shied is that the time you have to deploy it is finite. You have a bar at the bottom of the screen named "energy". Every moment you push the shield button, the energy decreases. Once it is gone... no more shield until you die again. There is no way to increase the shield energy, so use it judiciously.
The graphics are cute/typical for the time (1985), but what makes this game is the programming/flight patterns/variation of the aliens. Ships come from all directions. All sizes. All speeds. All shapes and colors. They come from behind, left, right, dive right at you, you just never know. Also, the game tries to have a little bit of a 3D perspective as things fly off into the horizon. So, as your fire (which is two artillery shells) goes off into the distance, the shells appear smaller and closer together. More importantly, the same goes for the aliens. They swoop in big and close - and then zoom off into the distance and get tiny. It's a nice effect. This combo of all diff aliens from all directions and the quasi 3D effect is what makes Repulse a great game and very fun to play.
There are end level bosses and the extremely rare power-up. In fact, when you shoot the helicopter carrying the power-up, the wreckage falls along with the power-up so you have to make sure you collect just the power-up and not get creamed by the wreckage.
Last point: Repulse can get extremely challenging. I found myself often in the mode where all I do is try to avoid incoming missiles and ships while firing randomly and hoping I'm hitting something. I'm clearly a skilled war General.