Insectoid by Actionsoft (Review)

Insectoid by Actionsoft (Review)

Insectoid by Actionsoft isn’t your average shooter. It offers game play similar to Galaga, a timeless classic with many fans the world over. The similarity between the two titles is not as evident as you may think.

Insectoid begins with a galaxy in distress. The Qu’roth, an insect race that was at peace with humanity for over five hundred years, has begun a full-scale attack on various human populated solar systems. As a young commercial pilot with no military training, you have been commissioned to lead four spacecraft into the war-torn galaxies infected by the Insectoids. This will not be an easy feat.


The game begins by offering you a selection of four space fighters. The Striker 2000 is slow, but shoots much faster than the others. Its special ability is a shield that can deflect enemy fire. The SFX-249 is a well-rounded fighter that isn’t fast or efficient at firing, but is capable of shooting large fireballs. Much faster at movement is the Stealth Clone 3. Its fire rate is very sluggish, but it can split in to two ships to compensate for this fault. Lastly is the Neutron Cannon LX; its movement speed and fire rate are the slowest of all four space fighters, but its Laser Beam is extremely powerful. Regardless of the ship you choose, there will be enough firepower to take on the enemy.

You must battle your way through five infected solar systems. At game start, you can choose to cleanse one of the first two – The Tirithia System or the Darlothia System. After you have cleansed a system from the Insectoid infection, another one becomes available. Each system has ten levels with a boss encounter at the end.


Like the classic Galaga, your space fighter stays at the bottom of the screen, but this is where the similarity ends. The alien insects swarm you from every direction. They attack in small groups, centipede-like strings, and massive horde formations. It’s not uncommon for all three variations to occur at once. This makes the game challenging and very intense. There is never a dull moment from one level to the next. Some areas have you traveling through enormous asteroid belts that hurl large space rocks at your fighter, and they must be either avoided or destroyed. Your enemy will also use the asteroid belts as cover, so be on your guard.

Unlike most shooters, Insectoid offers a checkpoint when you reach the 6th level in a system. This checkpoint will activate itself once all lives are lost. You can only use the checkpoint once per game, so you best be prepared to give it your best the second time around.


Bonus scoring is also plentiful while you battle the Insectoid menace. Coins will drop from destroyed enemies. When these coins appear, shoot them to split them up. As they fall towards your fighter, catch them for point bonuses. Bonus multipliers increase the score value of everything you destroy. A bonus multiplier x5 will increase your score x5 and so on. This is good news for high score junkies.

Insectoid is a fantastic shooter worthy of your investment. The entire package is a melding pot of well-drawn 2D visuals, moody space-age music, and intense arcade action. If you fancy yourself at least one shooter this year, make it Insectoid by Actionsoft.

Score 9 out of 10
Mike “STGuy1040” Pittaro

Platform: Mac / OS 10.4 or newer (Also Available for PC)
1.2 GHz processor or faster
(1.8 GHz recommended)
160 MB free RAM
Intel and G4/G5 Macs

Free Trial Demo Available


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  • Sugiki

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