Review – Spark – Shoot’em Up Fun For All
As a gamer that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s I’m a fan of arcade-style games. So, when I came across Spark by Knightmare Games my attention was caught immediately. The fact that it was a shoot’em up basically got me hook, line and sinker.
Spark manages to stand out in a very crowded genre
The game is most definitely a worthy addition to the genre. That’s because the developer made sure that the game wasn’t just another shoot’em up. This is accomplished by creating and chaining combos. You create a combo by combining various attacks. Different attack types will yield a different combo.
Combining different combos will create different attack chains. Making the combinations that you can create nearly endless. It’s a mechanic that the game incorporates very well. While the combinations of combos that you can make maybe endless. Your ability to make them, however, isn’t.
As you fire off attacks a meter begins to fill, should it fill all the way up you will become exhausted. Once you become exhausted you won’t be able to fire off a single attack, until your exhaustion meter cools down. Leaving dodging as your only defense against the multitude of enemies that will be on the screen.
I fell victim to this more times than I care to admit. I like the feature however as it adds a level of strategy to the game. Which is something that many titles in the genre don’t do. Because it becomes more about creating the right combo, instead of just button mashing. Often, I’ve played games within the genre where mashing or holding buttons is the order of the day.
The game also offers players three different modes of play.
- Conquest – The traditional play through experience stages, enemies and boss battles.
- Survival – As the name suggests, marathon play until you’re defeated.
- Puzzle – Use the games unique mechanics to solve timed puzzles.
Personally, I feel that conquest mode could’ve been a little longer. The additional two modes more than make up for that, however. While survival mode doesn’t really break any new ground. It’s the puzzle mode that’s the standout of the three modes.
The concept behind puzzle mode isn’t complicated. You need to solve the puzzle before the timer runs out. The puzzles get progressively more complex the further into the mode you go.
The addition of these modes is an important one as it gives the game a lot of replay value. Something that some developers overlook when developing a title.
Spark strikes a good balance between being enjoyable and being challenging. Which is a difficult feat for any game regardless of genre. If you’re a fan of the shoot’em up, or arcade style games then you should check the game out.
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