In Tidbits we cover games that are difficult to cover in our regular review template. In this Tidbits we review After Wave: Downfall, Roll the Cat and Z-Warp..
After Wave: Downfall | 55% – A top-down bullet-hell shooter on water instead of in space or in the sky? Sign me up! I love videogame water! and yes, that’s one of the things this game does rather well: it has some good-looking water shaders. But other than that, my list of compliments sadly runs out rather quick. The game has a lot of visual issues, where enemies clip through objects or the bosses’ intro cinematic has a weird camera angle and while its basic shooter gameplay is pretty fun at first, the later levels are a bit too hectic and don’t have a lot of openings to navigate your ship to. The sound design is forgettable, the overal visuals pass acceptable but neither will impress. And while there is a story here, it’s told through a simple one-pager full of text. You have different playable characters to unlock, including upgrades for them, but the currency to buy those doesn’t come easily, making the full completion too much of a grind. Luckily for achievement hunters, you don’t need to get anywhere close to the game’s end credits to unlock the full 1000G, you can achieve that in as little as ~30 minutes. Heck, I had 675G unlocked by the time I beat the very first boss. There is a core here that could form an enjoyable game, but it would need a lot more polish and balancing to become something I’d keep investing time in.
Written by: Robby
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Roll the Cat | 65% – They lie on keyboards or in the most uncomfortable corners. I’m talking, of course, about cats. In Roll the Cat, you have to get two cuties into a basket each time by rolling them. Sounds much easier than it is, of course. Your room to move is limited so you have to think strategically about when and how to roll the first or second cat. This cheap €5 game made by developer LeJunesArt, has quite a lot of tough levels so you’ll be busy for a few hours. As always with Ratalaika published Xbox games, it is also a simple and quick 1000 Gamerscore. I found it enjoyable to search for solutions and it does have a high cuteness level as well. With the short cutscenes and graphics. A perfect puzzle game to play in between!
Written by: Jim
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Z-Warp | 70% – Z-Warp, developed by Panda Indie Studio and developed/published by Eastasiasoft Limited, is a chaotic top-down vertical shooter that will have you relying on whatever you have to use in order to fight through endangering enemies to beat bosses and ultimately beat the story mode created. Z-Warp takes its appearance inspiration from arcade machines with its retro pixelated art style and bright use of colours. It’s pretty appealing to look at if slightly outdated; perhaps a more modernized approach would have made this better. Controls are straightforward and easy to learn as there aren’t many to take in – shoot, bomb, and maneuver I believe are the three you will be doing repeatedly. Sound-wise, the music suits the pace of the gameplay, combined to create an engaging experience to get taken in by, even with all the mayhem covering the screen. At first, I found the game particularly challenging but once I got used to safe placement and enemy spawns, it became much easier to progress. Notably, there are three difficulties to choose from. Sadly, story mode only consists of five levels overall which is pretty short when you look at it but with the inclusion of endless mode, it gives you somewhere to aim for high scores and prove your endurance. Easy to pick up and play when nostalgia takes your fancy.
Written by: VicciVulpix
Reviewed on: Xbox One S
Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.