Review: Sherbet Thieves – Moonshine Edition

Review: Sherbet Thieves – Moonshine Edition
3.5

Platforms:

Xbox 360, PC

Game Name:

Sherbet Thieves: Moonshine Edition

Developer(s):

Bang Zero Bang

Genre(s):

Shooter

Release Date:

September 30, 2011

Developer Summary

– Defender meets Robotron 2084
– Banjo Techno Soundtrack
– Save sherbet, earn moonshine, trade for weapons, repeat
– Local co-op party fun-times
– Most realistic sherbet defense simulator ever

What We Think

Dar’ be alien critters after me moonshine! Quick, lad grab ol’ faithful and run em off o’ our lawn! That is all the plot you’ll need and get for this quirky dual-stick shooter. Being a quirky shooter, it leans heavily on its cheesy aesthetic; cows shooting ray-guns, tomatoes that go splort and splat when you shoot them, space hippies blowing rings of smoke at you as they try to make off with your moonshine. But that doesn’t mean that it’s all quirk with no substance. There is enough meat on that heifer to keep a smile on your face.

varmints

Blast Them Interstellar Varmints!

The base game modes set you to the task of protecting a number of ‘Moonshines’ from aliens who want them. As aliens spawn in around you some will attack you, and some will head right for their shiny prizes. If one gets its grubby mitts on them, it’ll try to carry it back to their drop ship, and send you one moonshine closer to failing the round. The critters sent in to attack you will take a bite out of your health bar–lose it all and you’ll simply respawn with a level-one weapon, and possibly a few moonshines fewer as the bad guys have their way with your stock without resistance for a few seconds.

All that out of the way, the flow of each level is fairly solid. Deeper in to each stage will have you fending off swarms coming at you from all angles. The bit where you must also protect your moonshine distracts you just enough to keep you on your toes, as it’s not only your own hide you need to worry about. When they’re all coming for you, great! You can be focused. Oh but wait, that hippy over there is seconds away from stepping into his getaway ship! Now you must decide whether to risk taking some damage to get to that hippy, or let him get away with your goods and miss out on a higher score.

If I had to complain about anything it would be that the risk reward choice here is something of a no-brainer; health pick-ups are overly plentiful and plowing face-first into a swarm of enemies to save your moonshines is not even something I batted an eye at. The only resource I found precious was the Grav bombs that pull your moonshines back into a location they can be better protected, or away from being almost lost.

wham

Time in a Bottle

I found I had the most fun in the Endless modes. Without an end to a stage segment to bail you out, I found lasting for as long as I could either protecting my shines or just lasting until I died (Without shines, full on Geometry Wars style) the best way to experience the game. Depending on your preferred challenge, both protecting, or surviving can be where you spend the bulk of your time. Now if only there was an online leaderboard.

So for what it is, Sherbet Thieves is fun. I worry a bit how long it might keep someone interested in the long term. For a while I would want to play ‘just one more level,’ but after a half hour I felt I’d had my fill. Considering my first impressions and subsequent time spent with it, I’m prepared to award it with a 3-1/2 out of 5 stars. Fun is the name of the game, and this has it alongside a personality that seems hokey at first, but ultimately warmed me over.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Check out my gameplay video:

Official Trailer:

HappyWulf

[USA] Gaming since he was 3, most main stream titles have become a 'been there, done that' feel. Indie gaming is where the innovation is at these days, and even in some tired old genres, a developer with a dream can breathe some fresh life into an old formula.

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