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Space Tripper

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 2002, Pompom Games

For a start, this is one of the best-looking shareware games I have ever seen, so full credit to the guys at PomPom for raising that often all-too-low bar. Secondly this is one of the best shareware games I have ever played. Thirdly it’s one of the best games I have played at all.

It’s a simple enough little game: you’re in a hovering ship which can move around an arena in any direction and can face and fire either forwards or backwards. You have a choice between a wide arc of fire, or a single focused, powerful stream and each can be powered up individually, with a helpful little indicator in one corner of the screen to show the relative strengths of the two.

Now, all this sounds pretty standard shoot-’em-up territory so far, but it’s so much more. Aside from being ridiculously pretty, Space Tripper is as full as adrenaline as any game needs to be; There are enemies everywhere, close calls, tight squeezes and so on; tough bosses that need to be weakened and beaten, a refreshing change from the norm in today’s games where everything is at full power until it dies, these bosses actually give you real, visual feedback on how well you are beating them.

All of this combines to make one of the most well-crafted shooters I have ever played.

Today’s games lack that visceral, biting tenseness and adrenaline hit of the arcade in years gone by. This, friends, is a definite return to those wonderful days when the high-score was king and games were played as far through as you were good enough to get, not until their inevitable conclusion and roll of credits.

You are not going to beat Space Tripper on its hardest difficulty for a long time, but you will want to so much it hurts and when you do, panting and sweating and shaking from the effort, you’ll know that it was all worth it.

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