Insectoid Game Review by David Johnson
Game Rating = 4/5 Balls
Note: Actionsoft offers a Windows and Mac version of the game. The above links will present pages with the windows and mac options.
Game Review Summary
Reasons to buy Insectoid:
– If you love classic arcade games
– If you like games that are a little repetitious but ridiculously addictive
– If you want great sound and graphics with timeless gameplay
Reasons not to buy Insectoid:
– If you don’t like repetitious gameplay
– If you want a completely new and original concept
– If blasting loads of gooey aliens just isn’t your thing
Complete Game Review
Along the lines of arcade classics such as Space Invaders and Galaxian, Insectoid isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Rather, it takes the famous formula and expands upon it, tweaking and smoothing out all the little details to make time-tested fun more graphically and audibly pleasing than we’ve seen it to date.
The concept is simple but ridiculously addictive. Hordes upon hordes of alien lifeforms descend towards the player’s spaceship. The player can move only left to right at the bottom of the screen, firing ceaselessly in order to escape defeat and rack up points in the process. Here, there are five different space systems to choose from, all infected with generous supplies of insect-like aliens just waiting to be destroyed. Players can select from four different ships, all with their own unique speed attributes and firing velocities. Each one also comes equipped with a specialty weapon or defense mechanism when enough points have been earned. The difficulty levels are very well adjusted: I breezed through the ‘Easy’ mode, struggled a bit to finish on ‘Normal’, and still haven’t made it through a full system on ‘Hard.’
One might think that little could be done to graphically enhance such a straightforward format. But Insectoid goes above and beyond its predecessors with very detailed enemies, some of which may even frighten younger gamers (I have to admit, even I can get creeped out when gooey centipedes continue hurdling toward my tiny ship). The level backdrops are likewise well-designed and greatly enhance the gameplay. Here, the typical starry backdrop is filled with menacing asteroids, sulfurous clouds, and swirling vortexes of aliens who slowly spiral toward you.
Killing swarms of aliens to the sound of repetitive beeps and chimes can get monotonous quickly, but here there was rarely a dull audible moment. Not only were the sounds of firing lasers and descending aliens unique and well-placed but the pulsing techno and electronica that made up the soundtrack had me nodding my head almost the entire time as well.
Creativity and Innovation
What sets Insectoid apart is really the presentation quality. This game layout has been around since the late 70’s so other than a few new weapons or crafty enemy attacks, there’s little in terms of gameplay features to make this any different than its predecessors. But the graphical enhancements and level design really make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Insectoid is by far the most well-designed and entertaining ‘alien-blaster’ style game I’ve played thus far.
Actionsoft created the retro Arcade game Insectoid.