Super Mega Space Blaster (SMSB) is a love letter to arcade classic shoot ’em ups, in the vein of Asteroids and Defender. Originally released on Steam, the new Special Turbo edition brings fresh modes and ships to the home console market. 181Gaming was able to get our hands on the title to give you some first impressions.
- Developer: Bare Knuckle Development
- Publisher: Bare Knuckle Development
- Release Date: 14th January 2020
- Genre: Shoot ’em up (Shmup)
- Players: 1-2
- Release Platforms: Nintendo Switch™ & PlayStation®4
- Game Website: bareknuckledev.com/games/space-blaster-turbo/
- Developer Website: bareknuckledev.com
- Twitter: twitter.com/SMSpaceBlaster
- Facebook: facebook.com/bareknuckledev
- Instagram: Instagram.com/smspaceblastersp
- Price: US $4.99, UK £3.99, EU €4.39, AUD 6.60
- Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB E (everyone)
Upon booting up the game for the first time Atari’s classic Asteroids was the first thing that popped into my head. The controls are somewhat reminiscent of the ’79 classic and the titular space rocks are an obstacle you’ll face frequently throughout the game. Once you begin unlocking new ships over the course of play eventually the game becomes a twin-stick shooter, similar to Geometry Wars. Each ship has a different stat set and as you play you’ll figure out which of 15 ships that suit your play style the best.
The game features five different modes, all of which allow a second player to join in, either in co-op play or versus modes. The first mode, titled “Protect Mother”, tasks the player with protecting a mother ship which takes up a portion of the screen. Your mission is to keep both yourself and the mother ship alive for as long as possible in order to rack up the highest score you can.
“Survival mode” is the closest to classic arcade action you‘ll find, forcing you to survive an onslaught of enemies for as long as possible. In this mode, your guns are always firing, forcing you to pay attention to your ammo count at the top of the screen. Killing enemies gives you more ammo as well as other power-ups to help make surviving a little easier.
“Save the Colony mode” is my favorite, I’ve played so far. In this mode, you must save survivors of a destroyed space colony and deliver them to a warp gate that moves around at the bottom of the screen. Periodically survivors will float across the screen; to save them you simply run into them with your ship and deliver them to the warp gate. Once you rescue enough survivors, a boss appears that you must defeat, though I have yet to get this far.
The final two modes are two players versus modes, for players who are done playing nice. The one-shot mode is a straight-on dog fight reminiscent of the classic Atari 2600 game Combat, where each player is given one shot to try and shoot down their opponent.”To the Death” mode gives each player their own mother ship they must defend. This mode splits the screen in two, and each player defends their ship the best they can from enemies. As players rack up bigger kill streaks, they can unleash punishment on their opponent, giving them more to deal with.
The version we played was the switch version. The pick-up and play nature of the game is very suitable for the console. Sessions last mere minutes, making it perfect for a bus or taxi ride. Our full review for Super Mega Space Blaster will be coming in the near future. For more previews and reviews stay tuned to 181gaming.com.
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AKA “The Board Game Mole”
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