Super Destronaut DX is a retro-inspired arcade twin-stick shooter developed by Petite Games and published by Ratalaika Games SL, the developers that brought us the classic, INKsplosion. I want to preface this off first that, this title is far superior to their earlier work. I mean come on, this game actually has leaderboards, that instantly provides a leg up to the average predecessor. You take control of a space pilot on your perilous journey to destroy alien scum. While this seems like an easy mission to start, it soon dawns on you that a suicide mission will clearly be the outcome. With death a certain, it’s up to you to take down as many foes as humanly possible before you reach the pearly gates.
The gameplay mechanics are very familiar for anyone who frequented arcades or love the classics. This title brings the basics of a little title known simply as Galaga and adds some retouching and a mixture of their own special quirks. Due to the simplistic nature of these games, there is not much to delve into. You stay at the bottom of the screen shooting up at hordes of aliens, and there is not much more than too it than that. You start with a basic blaster and can upgrade weapons when they fall from the big boss. These power-ups are completely random and aren’t much better than the original gun, in all honesty.
What it lacks in complexity, Super Destronaut DX makes up for in content. Equipped with four different modes to choose from, there is a little bit of something for everyone. Are you a retro enthusiast or one of those fancy speedrunners? Maybe a hardcore gamer with a lust for a challenge? Well don’t you worry, I am sure you will find something you like. My personal favorite would be the classics mode. I found I could just sit back and relax and kills some enemies without having to really worry. It was peaceful, and I do not see that in many shoot ‘em ups these days. In the world of bullet hells being the new norms, it's nice to shut off the brain and just have fun. Unfortunately, the hardcore mode was not what I expected. It was barely difficult, and I did not notice much of a difference besides the name change.
The challenge mode provided the meat and potatoes to this game. While the other components were fun, they definitely got stale pretty quick. The challenges provided something different in a game that is all about shooting and getting to the next level. I will agree that they are quite basic and easy to overcome, but it’s something at least. These tasks include things like surviving to a certain wave, achieving a multiplier, or dispatching of some unwanted aliens through excessive firepower.
I am not going to sugar coat it, when I say this game was made by the same people as INKsplosion, I didn’t expect much. I imagined another cheap game that lacked a lot of key features to fit the genre. I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the evolutions that were made between these two games and it shows the team is going in the right direction. It definitely is not the best game and it clearly is not for everyone, but it has its own flair that helps it shine, even if it is a bit dim. I had fun and the game didn’t crash, so I see it as a win-win compared to my expectations.
In the end, Super Destronaut EX is a decent shoot ‘em up that can provide players with a good amount of fun. If you are looking for variety, it isn’t the best game, but it provides a little bit of everything. At least you can always try to beat your friends on the leaderboards. Being priced at $5 USD is probably the best selling point as I would not pay much more for a title of this caliber. Just don't expect to get more than what you are paying out of it.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 5.5/10
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