Review – Glow – A Bioluminscent SHMUP

Review – Glow – A Bioluminscent SHMUP
2.5

Platforms:

Windows PC, Steam

Game Name:

Glow

Publisher(s):

Impetus Games

Developer(s):

Impetus Games

Genre(s):

Action

Release Date:

October 14th, 2016

Glow from Impetus Games

In a forested setting featuring a firefly taking the reigns on its fate, Glow presents a fast-paced environment where blinking could abolish any chance of victory. There isn’t a whole lot encompassing a firefly and its will to survive. Striding back and forth while simultaneously firing various styles of firefly spit at eight-legged freaks summarizes the strategy of this third-person shooter. In some ways, guiding a majestic firefly is gratifying, but its repetitive nature isn’t anything to write home about.

Developed by Impetus Games, Glow brings back to life the old school top-down shooter mechanism. Initially, the beautifully rendered environments seized my attention. I’m a sucker for pretty things, what can I say? In retrospect, the menus appeared undeveloped and bland, offering very little customization. Overlooking that minor detail, I buckled up and dived headfirst into a mesh of ravenous spiders. The enchantment I originally endured began to dwindle. Guidance isn’t existent, nor is the ability to grasp the knowledge of Glow’s basic mechanics.

glow attack

Arguably, maneuvering the firefly wasn’t rocket science; power-ups would randomly spawn following a critter meeting its doom, but their effects were a riddle at first. Perceptibly, a red glow meant the redemption of health. Simple enough. Apparently a rounded beehive-shaped element meant acquiring a minion to help ensure the firefly’s triumph. The learn-as-you-go tactic is visibly present in Glow, partnering mystery with inevitable confusion.

No Guts, No Glow-ry

Before each battle commences, the current map following the quantity of random enemies is shown. Enemies range from common spiders to anti-aircraft bugs, with a little bit of something extra in-between. If the randomized selection doesn’t pique your interest, the “escape” button on the keyboard will revert back to the main menu, granting vast amounts of diverse battles.

As soon as the schematics meet your standards, selecting perks to better suit the firefly in combat is vital. Trust me: facing a cluster of disgusting arachnids isn’t going to be a walk in the park with the original perks equipped. With a little bit of machine gun spit, even the “big-ass spiders” don’t stand a chance.

glow cleared

The most exciting fragment of Glow was its enticing weapon effects. Arming the firefly with different weapons just to experience their tactic became a sport. With an abundance of weapons to choose from each class (light, heavy and ordinance), the combinations appear limitless. With persistent advancement in combat, additional artilleries eventually become obtainable. The better you are, the closer you get to achieving the good stuff.

Trip the Light Frenetic

Consistent clicking and movement of the firefly is essential to dodge the spiders’ attacks, especially since they are plainly shooting from every direction. Indubitably, the more the firefly trains in battle, the more challenging the stages become. Numerous ornamental perks, as I mentioned earlier, unlock and become accessible with repetitious gameplay – practice does make perfect, after all. Climbing the community leaderboard appears interactive enough, but regrettably that’s the overall purpose.

glow action

Light Pollution

Equipping the firefly with radical weapons is cool and all, but Glow’s unvarying enemies are mundane. I despise spiders with every fiber of my being, but conquering their species over and over again was equivalent to listening to a broken record. After a couple of hours of playing, the recurrent nature of hunting the same foe becomes dull and unexciting. Where is the variation? I’ll go face to face with a scorpion, I don’t care.

With repetitive gameplay follows a repetitive soundtrack, unfortunately. Taking on a horde of spiders ignites my inner hatred for their species. The presence of hardcore jams to get the blood pumping through my veins was expected, but at times the music failed to loop. The continuous pew of firefly spit was all that vibrated through the speakers – monotonous gameplay isn’t exactly charming. The flicker burned out and so did a good chunk of my expectations for Glow.

Better to Burn Out

Though the concept for Glow is applauded, its replay value dims after an hour or so of gameplay. The absence of different insects was boring. Luckily, the variation of weaponry devised a more enjoyable experience and somewhat helped me forget the fact that all the bugs looked the same. Nonetheless, the warrior firefly surely has its moments of glory, but inevitably a yawn follows in due course.

Glow is available via Steam.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Watch the official trailer for Glow below:

Amanda Bower

Amanda has adored the video game industry since she battled through countless battles with Doctor Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog. She spends a majority of her time with her gaming computer, otherwise you can find her devouring pizza and watching Shrek.

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