I do love me a good tower-defense game. Heck, one of my top games of all time is the fantastic PixelJunk Monsters, so I was more than happy to pull review duties for Spacejacked on PS4.
Spacejacked is a bit of a genre mixer. You’ve got your side-scrolling action complementing the tower-defense gameplay. It sounds a little odd but it works surprisingly well, even if it takes a bit of getting used to.
You play as Dave aboard a spaceship with your homies. The story is simple enough to follow but not worth really investing in. It’s the moment-to-moment gameplay that’ll bring you back to Spacejacked, not it’s story, so don’t expect some epic space opera.
Starting off is really simple; you’ll do a few tutorials and learn the ins and outs of Spacejacked. Within your first 10 minutes you’ll have learned everything you need to know to fend off the alien scum that wants to eat your and your comrades. Once the training wheels are off, you’re presented with 20 levels (presented as days) with increasingly difficult waves of baddies. It’s your job to defend your ship and your crewmates.
Your ship is split into four different locations, with the headquarters acting as the hub. You can teleport from one room to the other in the blink of an eye, which is rather handy, no? You’ll be alerted when different rooms are under attack and you’ll need to prepare some defences. While you are armed with a handy little pistol, it’s not going to be enough to save you and your buddies from being alien dinner. It’s useful for finishing off the last little bits of health bar, but it shouldn’t be your focus. What should be your focus is your turrets, and this is where the tower-defence gameplay comes in.
- Developer: Rotten Mage
- Release Date: April 26th, 2018
- Price: $9.99/£9.49/€11.99
You’ve got three choice of turrets: Laser, Gun, and Stasis. Laser turrets deliver bigger damage but take longer to reload. Gun turrets are fairly balanced in all aspects, while Stasis slows down the enemies. The trick is finding the right place to build each type of turret in each room; each different room on the ship has a different layout, so you can’t just copy and paste your tactics from one to the other. And why would you? That’d be too easy.
Despite the game being a side-scrolling tower-defence game, you can’t actually jump. I know, weird, right? It’s a quirk of the game that took me a little while to get my head around. Instead of jumping around, you can switch between walking on the floors, or walking on the ceilings. It works perfectly fine but while I was still in my early levels with the game, I did find it a bit of a challenge to be pressing ‘up’ and ‘down’ on the D-pad to move between platforms. It’s only a small gripe, mind you, and it’s probably the only real complaint I have about Spacejacked.
Well, I suppose I could argue that the tower-defence gameplay is a bit watered down from what I’m used to. Upgrades aren’t as plentiful and there’s only a small selection of turrets to build. If you want them upgraded, you’ll need to help out your fellow space adventurers. I could argue that it’s not as deep as I’d like, but I think it’s actually just right. I did initially find the small turret and upgrade selection to be a little disappointing, but the further I went into the game, the happier I was that I wasn’t spending ages flicking through menus. Having a smaller selection keeps things focused and allows the gameplay to flow at a breakneck pace. Sometimes less really is more.
The story isn’t anything to shout about, though it does have its moments thanks to a cast of quirky weirdos. The main attraction in Spacejacked is in its gameplay. It’s over all too soon, though, and you can be done in just a few short hours, depending on your skill level and difficulty. However, I reckon trophy hunters will get a bit more out of the game, and there’s even a couple of Endless Modes to keep you going once the credits have rolled on the story. All in all, a decent package for a decent price.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.