Sunday 6 May 2012

OmegaPixel: 80's Pixel gaming homage for ios done just right

Retro is cool: Fact! However all my retro ventures on iPad have fallen into slight disappointment. Being a late '90s Spectrum Fanboy as soon as I acquired the power of an iPad I went off searching for Retro Speccy goodness, emulators and such like. And kids I'm sorry to say nostalgia does not for a good game make.
So when a Press Release for a retro game lands on Gametrender's review desk we normally approach it with a great deal of skepticism .
Does Omegapixel live up to expectations?

Omegapixel: Genre busting retro inspired ios awesomeness
Now if the '80s gaming scene had fallen into some Miyamoto powered Timewarp and graphics had never evolved beyond pixel perfect iterations of Space Invaders , but gameplay had continued to evolve, then by 2012 I can quite categorically state that we would NOT  be playing a game like Omegapixel. That's because the gameplay is quite simply far, far in advance of modern day titles. Quite clearly Taco Graveyard ,the creators of this gem of a free game, have based the teleportation antics of the the titular outer space pixel on Wormhole technology that they've somehow gained access to. They've tried to fool the gaming public into thinking that the ios game is a retro treat, but it's anything but. Beneath the camoflauge of '80s pixel gaming is gameplay that quite clearly comes from a time far in the future from this weekend in 2012 that I'm writing this review. Yes, it's that good!
Massive Boss Battles and Manic action in Omegapixel
Omegapixel defies categorisation, the main aim is to Save Omegapixel from the rampaging aliencraft and rogue planets. That would set you in mind of an iPad borne retro sci-fi shooter. It's not. What it is some some very fast twitch gaming with different enemies being able to target either the pixel or your craft piloted by the nattily hair-doed Mohawk Jones (you'll also get to meet his crew and the mayor of outer space in the great story that accompanies one of the retro games modes). But it's not just fast twitch gaming , an enormous amount of thought and strategic planning need to go into the movement of your craft, all at the speed of a bullet hell shooter! It's manic adrenalin meltdown on later levels as you're luring aliens that can destroy you into the maw of Omegapixel, while defending the pixel from marauders that can destroy it, and then energy beams that can destroy pixel but not you sweep the screen, so you use your only defense-teleporting pixel to safety( this is the games main mechanic as the teleport button takes the place of a fire button, teleporting Omegapixel swaps places with your spaceship-further throwing your planning and situational awareness into disarray). Oh and don't forget to collect the cash to get numerous upgrades for your craft-all well conceived and adding to the gameplay balance and prepare yourself for later planet sized battles too.

The game has got a lot going on, on screen, and the future technology that the Timelords who are Taco Graveyard are keeps it all just running so smoothly, constantly throwing new enemies and different game changing ideas into play.
Upgrades; Arcade Mode and Co-Op, Omegapixel
really is a generous game
And that's just story mode (well conceived, well played out and presented with between level graphic novel type cut scenes). Methinks that the developers must have not only time warping technology to hand but also some sort of money printing machine as they are giving this all away for free! And just as an afterthought adding on a superb co-op mode for iPad owners and a really fun and manic Arcade mode too! 
Omegapixel is fantastic retro disguised fun with the most up to date and cunningly realised, well balanced gameplay that we've encountered in a space themed shooter.

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