Is a shooter still a shooter when you don’t actually fire any shots? That’s the sort of question you’ll be asking yourself when you play lovely Tron-esque indie named Tower Bombarde.
The game has something reminiscent of a story, but it didn’t particularly hold my interest. Something about hacking a computer system’s kernel. Whatever. You won’t be playing this sort of thing for the story anyway. What is interesting about Tower Bombarde is how you play it.
Players control a small avatar which spawns in the middle of a field where all manner of objects are shooting at you. These objects need to be destroyed, but there’s a small snag: you have no weapons to speak of. Using your wits, you need to get them caught in one another’s crossfire, which is the ideal solution. Failing that, you can temporarily raise a shield around your avatar, which reflects shots back at the attackers. As a last-ditch resort, you can go kamikaze and smash straight into the offensive turrets, but naturally this will deplete a significant chunk of your health, so it’s best used by only the most buffed or downright stupid players.
It may seem slightly tedious at first, but before long the player will be imbued with upgrades to their shields that swing the odds in their favor: for example, a stronger shield takes longer to deplete and it’s effective at deflecting back some specific laser shots. The first couple of arenas may seem a bit dull, but I implore you to stick at it, because the large amount of levels and enemy types ensure that you’ll keep going with this one for a while, while the attractive graphical style and memorable soundtrack will engage players with their retro-neon theme.
Of special mention are the bosses: these guys are massive, creative and require a bit of trial-and-error to defeat. They alone are worth the price of admission, and to top it all off there’s a few secrets to discover and achievements to unlock. Über coolness!
If you’re a peacenik and you’re ready to win the war passively, then you need to direct your browser to access the game herein. What’s that you say? You use Mac? You’re a Linux geek? Well sorry, no love for you then.