26 July 2007

Titan Attacks

Help! I'm addicted to Titan Attacks!

Well, it's not that bad, but I do have a weak side when it comes to video games. It all started with the console game Space Invaders. I first got exposed to it when I first came to the U.S. as a teen. As a new immigrant and a kid, with little money to spare, I played it only a few times, possibly at the arcade place near Mott St. and Bowery in Chinatown. Years later when I owned the Amiga computer, I played a lot with the clone called Amoeba Invaders. Unfortunately, in later Amiga computers, the game no longer worked, possibly because of different chip architecture. As a Mac owner, my search for a clone of Space Invaders has gotten nowhere until when I stumbled upon Titan Attacks.

The initial waves in Titan Attacks resemble Space Invaders but after a few waves the game is mostly different. Other than avoiding enemies' bullets, you should collect goodies as they fall from the sky. Some power-ups are immune to your bullets but other you must be careful not to blast them apart. At the end of each wave, you get the chance to buy shield, gun power, extra bullets, etc., depending on how much money you've gotten.

At $20 I think the game is a great investment. Going for a retro feel, the game doesn't have eye-popping graphics or heart-pumping rock music, but you get a lot out of the game. As long as you have enough shield, you can survive many enemy blasts. With the original Space Invaders, one blast and your current live is gone. I'm not that good a player and yet so far I've made it to level 30 something out of 100. My favorite power-up so far is add-on, a laser gun to go with your blaster, although it cost 2000 monetary units. I've learned that as long as I don't overspend on shield or other power-ups, I can save enough to get the laser add-on.

I cannot help but compare Titan Attacks to Jets 'N Guns. While JNG has great graphics and music, at $35 it's a waste as I never finish any levels other than the first one. What's the use of boasting x levels of beautiful graphics when I can never get past level one?

Titan Attacks is available in demo mode. Gameplay is the same as the real version, the only difference is that whenever you die, you are taken to the Puppy Games web site and prodded to buy the game. You can just close the web browser and start a new game. I was tempted to keep playing the demo and use the "interference" as an intermission. In the end, I decided to support the small Mac developers by buying software that I enjoy. I can always go cold turkey if I feel I spend too much time on the game.

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