For those of us old enough to remember the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Astro Avenger is a modern day Tiger-Heli meets 1942 in a Galaga setting. Taking place in the dark reaches of outer space, there is a story to go along with this deep space path of destruction but it is not needed, as once one has reviewed the quick control screen and has begun the mission, they are immediately sucked into this fast paced game of intergalactic battle.
Offering three levels of difficulty, Cadet (beginner), through Ace (hardest), the premise is much the same as many other seek and destroy computer games, centering on a vehicle that can be manipulated forward and back, and side to side, while moving along and irreversible forward screen path. The catch is that rather than just collecting points and extra weapons along the path, the player is also able to earn cash. At the end of each mission one is able to spend this money to upgrade weapons, repaired damage and purchase (or sell) extra missiles. This is a nice addition to the game and allows the player more control over his ship’s capabilities.
It was enjoyable to be able to explore and test new varieties of weapons and get rid of those that didn’t function as expected. It was a nice variation to the multitude of similar games created in this fashion. At the end of each level the player can look forward to either saving their money to purchase a larger or different type of weapon later on in the game, or spending their cash to test out a new weapon against the multitude of enemy fighter craft.
The main recommendation for enhanced ease of play would be to use a mouse for controlling one’s ship. This makes it much easier to control movement and for rapid firing (if your finger gets tired just left click and hold your finger down for continuous firing ability). Using the keypad makes the ship’s movement jerky and harder to avoid oncoming missiles and fire from enemy ships.
The graphics were good, speed of play was perfect, and audio was enjoyable. Who doesn’t enjoy the sound of lasers, and explosions, created by their own path of destruction? As an added tip, try buying a couple nuke missiles and save them for the enemy’s big boys. They can really come in handy!
Overall, this is a great game for those who enjoy the fast paced, shoot ’em up space game with personalized control over the capabilities of one’s space fighter.
Astro Avenger: Rated 4 out of 5.
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