Insectoid for PC from Actionsoft (Review)

Insectoid for PC from Actionsoft (Review)

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now, Insectoid from Actionsoft isn’t just a Galaga/Galaxian clone/homage, it comes in, takes the original by the hand, leads it to the front door and kicks it out. Yes, Namco really has their hands full with competition like Insectoid (just updating the graphics in a future re-release of their venerable classic isn’t going to cut it this time around). Actionsoft has done their homework, paid attention to what made shooters of old great and then gone all out on improving that formula for newer gamers.

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There is a story, something about the Qu’roth that are an insect race that was once friendly with us and now is against us, it boils down to this- your job is to blow the enemy out of local space. At first you have only two galaxies, out of 5, to choose from to tackle with your choice of 4 spaceships (each with varying abilities that can help picky gamers get the type of offense they want instead of the “one ship fits all” mentality of Galaga/Galaxian).  Your special powerup for each ship is limited only by how many power orbs you collect (they are yellowish orange balls that drop from certain enemies). The screen setup will be familiar if you are a shooter fan, your stats (score, remaining lives and other niceties Actionsoft has added like a weapon gauge that you can charge and unleash).

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The graphics are great, really pumped up for newer systems, though system requirements are quite low so that even those budget $299 laptops will be able to play this. There are little smoke trails and other details that really help immerse you into the game, explosions are very well done and almost believable. Taking on Insectoid is not for the weak of heart in shooters out there, though on easy you can get far enough to feel some satisfaction and enjoyment, you will eventually be handed your walking papers as the difficulty ramps up later.

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Some nice bonus items that you can receive include score multipliers, bonus points and additional points in bonus rounds that get tough rather quickly. A high score table is available for each of the three difficulty settings so you can keep your little brother from ruining your high score bragging rights on Hard (something that is much appreciated and not often implemented in games anymore).

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The music is great, though you may not be wishing to hear renditions of it featured on Video Games Live, it is good and much better than you get in these types of games. There are several tracks available so depending on your taste it should take awhile before you are looking to turn it off (though I am a purist, give me just the sound of explosions and the enemy and I am good).

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There are a couple of minor annoyances really that I ran into with Insectoid. Some of the bosses are a little off in the visual department, while nice and gruesome, just some didn’t fit the insect motif they were going for. Being restricted to the bottom of the screen may be a turn off for many gamers but for the most part it was not that bad (though there were times that it was infuriating to hit an alien that is underneath you while dodging the alien hailfire).

Insectoid 1 2009-12-14 10-18-55-95 Actionsoft has done a great rendition of, and gone above and beyond, Galaga here. Not many games that are obviously homages to a classic can lay claim to that. As Mike has mentioned in his review of the Macintosh OSX version, if you are going to buy only one shooter game any time soon, make it Insectoid by Actionsoft, you won’t be sorry (and being a digital download, you won’t have to wait long to get it).

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Score 8 out of 10
Carl “triverse” Williams

Insectoid by Actionsoft – website
Demo available: Yes
Cost: $19.95
Version reviewed – Windows (Macintosh review available here)

System Requirements:
1.2 GHz processor or faster
(1.8 GHz recommended)
160 MB free RAM
Intel and G4/G5 Macs

VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Insectoid for PC from Actionsoft (Review), 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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