The Vault №120
Who says shooters are all about diving sideways with two guns in slow motion or firing off into the air while going "arrrr"? Shooters haven't been "just" about headshots and highscores for a long time, and when you add the ever-increasing creativity of browser game developers into the mix, you know you're in for one fantastic hybrid of a good time. Here are just three of our favourite games who have mixed up the blam-blam with a little of the ol' ooooh, aaaahh in unexpected ways.
- Zombotron - Ant Karlov's zombie-infested shooter combines the action with ridiculously entertaining explosives and physics-based platforming gameplay for one incredibly good time. Where Zombotron sets itself apart from the other endless parades of zombie shoot-em-ups is by focusing on highly destructive, carefully planned environments that let you plan and execute the horde following you in a variety of amusing ways... or, uh, just stand on the other side of a cliff and watch them walk straight off it trying to get you. Plus, Zombotron sounds like Jumbotron, only instead of having to kiss someone when the camera focuses on you, you crack open the top of their skull and eat their brains. Aw. Reminds me of my first date.
- Realm of the Mad God - You need to make a free account to play this game from Wild Shadow, but trust me, it's seriously worth it, because holy gooses is it ever nonstop bananas fun. This multiplayer shooter blends RPG action with roguelike difficulty by plopping you into a world full of fast moving, fast shooting enemies of all types and a horde of other players swarming around you doing the same. The idea is you're all fantasy classes, like paladins and clerics and such, with projectile attacks, trying to find and bring down the titular baddie, but along the way you'll gain levels, find secrets, unlock new classes... and inevitably die and have to restart, since death in the game is permanent, and happens if you so much as stand still for more than two seconds. It's crazy, it's hectic, and it's endlessly entertaining stress release in one frantic package.
- Starwish - Few games are more bafflingly impressive than this visual novel/adventure/side-scrolling space shooter/RPG from Anonymous D Studio. Not only did the creator write, code, and draw everything himself, but the game is fairly massive, and the sort of thing you can sink hours and hours into. You play the role of Deuce, a space pirate who gets wrapped up in an intergalactic battle that can decide the fate of all life, and gameplay is split between traditional horizontal shooter action with the ability to wander around the ship between stages, talk to and form relationships with characters that alter your ending, and even enjoy a ton of upgrades for your ship. It's tremendously well made and engrossing, and is perhaps the single best example out there of the high quality entertainment you're so lucky to get for the low, low, price of free. (And I STILL WANT A SEQUEL.)
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!