Review: Alien Rescue – Episode 1 – a free game for Android

Review: Alien Rescue – Episode 1  – a free game for Android
3.5

Platforms:

Android

Game Name:

Alien Rescue: Episode 1

Publisher(s):

RomBots Team

Developer(s):

RomBots Team

Genre(s):

Shoot Em' Up

Release Date:

Sept. 25, 2011

ESRB Rating:

NA

Developer Summary:

The first in a series of three, Alien Rescue – Episode 1 is a top-down shooter, where you are an alien out on a mission to rescue his friends marooned on the weird and strange planet Earth.

Battle your way through 6 levels on 3 difficulties of a developing Story Mode and alternatively take up the Free Mode challenge, where you face incoming waves of angry natives.

The game features over 10 distinct weapons and power-ups, from classics such as The Gatling Gun, Missiles and Laser Beam to the more exotic EMP, Explosive Cow and Weapon Steal.

Features:

  • Runs on devices starting with Android 2.1
  • Beautiful 2D art and graphics
  • Funny and enjoyable sound effects and soundtracks
  • Several control methods available: two using touchscreen and one using hardware keyboard / D-Pad
  • 10 weapons: blaster, triple blaster, laser beam, gatling gun, dumb missiles, dumb missiles, scattergun, cows, crates & explosive cows.
  • 6 powerups: splash missile, weapon steal, tractor beam, personal shield, emp wave & health regenerator
  • Ability to abduct entities and even combine them, creating additional weapons
  • 2 engaging game modes: Story Mode and Free Mode
  • 6 challenging Story Mode levels with 3 difficulty settings
  • Free Mode lets you play as long as you want and will throw against you countless waves of angry Earthlings
  • Try to unlock 22 unique Achievements and gain higher scores per level
  • OpenFeint support in the game ensures competition with other players worldwide. Achieve Free Mode high scores and try to be the best Alien pilot there is

Alien Rescue Screenshot 1

What We Think:

From Romanian indie devs RomBots Team comes Alien Rescue – Episode 1 — a top-down shooter boiled down to its core features; guide your saucer as it auto-fires its way around the playfield, taking down fighters, tanks and disgruntled farmers. Pick up debris and cows to chuck at the enemy. Most importantly pick up your fellow aliens so they aren’t left to the not-so-tender mercies of the dastardly earthlings.

Alien Rescue Screenshot 2

As a pick-up and play game, Alien Rescue is quite fun. There’s a nice learning curve, with the first few levels being fairly easy and quickly escalating in difficulty. I’m not sure where they’ll be going with episodes 2 and 3, but I’m hoping it’s in a completely different direction, because more of the same would seem pointless. A puzzle game with the same theme, or perhaps a platformer, would certainly make for interesting additions.

Alien Rescue Screenshot 3

The graphics are well done, giving that colorful cartoony feel you’re used to from casual games. Opponents and power-ups are distinguished from background elements by a slightly thicker black outline that gets the point across without being distracting.

Alien Rescue Screenshot 4

The only useful control scheme is the touch and move system, which is unfortunate because it means your hand tends to obscure the lower part of the screen. The virtual joystick is clunky, unresponsive and shows none of the polish we’ve seen from other developers in the last couple of years. My device, like many, lacks a physical keyboard so I can’t comment on it, other than to say it likely will mirror the virtual joystick in responsiveness.

What really becomes an issue with the controls, no matter what method you prefer, is the lack of multi-touch support. When you’re talking about a game where bullet dodging is a major part of the play, having to cease movement to use your specials is, at best an annoyance, at worst a fatal flaw.

Alien Rescue Screenshot 5

At a cost of nothing, Alien Rescue is easy to recommend; it’s fun, if brief. Gameplay is only slightly hindered by mediocre controls. The only in-game advertising on my review edition, appeared during the menu screens, which was merciful. The inclusion of the Openfeint network allows for some nice touches, such as achievements and leaderboards.

And how can you go wrong with any game that includes chucking exploding cows?

The game is compatible with a wide range of Android devices starting with Android 2.1, with an iOS version planned for future release.

Download Alien Rescue – Episode 1 free from the Android Marketplace

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Patrick Bartholomew

Patrick is a freelance multimedia developer specializing in Flash development and animation. He has been programming and making games as a hobby since the age of 7 and has been an avid pen and paper role-player for at least as long.

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