Endless Spaceships: Mok Force

By Alec Meer on April 16th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

my score is 4

Ask me anything about shmups, go on. Er, no, I don’t really know what doujin means. Um, no idea who Kenta Cho is. No, I don’t own a copy of Ikaruga or Radiant Silvergun. (Is the silvergun the ship or its gun?). I’ve never played a Llamasoft game. I can’t last more than about two seconds in a proper bullet hell game. Other than that, ask me anything. Actually, you’d better not: my awesome knowledge would only make you feel inferior, perhaps even sub-human. Why don’t you go and play Mok Force instead, a lovely-lookin’, procedurally-generated, Unity-powered shmup that’s quite accessible despite doing the whole ‘screen covered in death-rays’ thing?

IndieGames, from where I found this noisy but elegant Japanese indie gem, uses all manner of genre-specific terms to describe it, but I don’t need to lower myself to explaining what they all mean. The important thing is that I could have used infinitely more informed descriptors if I so wished, but I choose not to. I definitely know everything about shmups. Definitely. I just don’t want to seem to browbeat you with my vast knowledge. For the same reason, I’m not sharing any screenshots of my high scores. They’re definitely really, really high. Definitely. But it’d only make you feel bad if you saw them.

All you need to know is that cursor keys and Z control the action, you get an extra life upon scoring 300,000, the difficulty jumps if you survive 50 waves but resets if you lose all your lives (even though the game will continue) and the randomly-generated backdrops and enemies make it both look gorgeous and feel free from the tedium of repetition.

Did you know that shoot ‘em ups are so called because they contain both shooting and in some cases the ability to move up? Also the ‘em’ relates to the fact that shmups are very popular in the emulation scene. So shoot ‘em up actually means Fire At Lots Of Spaceships Emulator Up There Please. That is the official definition, but not a lot of people know that.

You can play Mok Force in your browser here, or for gamepad support and changeable resolution there’s a download version too.

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7 Comments »

  1. Thermal Ions says:

    “I’ve never played a Llamasoft game”

    And you call yourself a games journalist. These young whipper snappers today.

  2. Morfy says:

    Talking about shmups, why there has been no love for Dominatron?

  3. Shiri says:

    You can usually just sub “indie” for “doujin”, although the scenes are somewhat different.

  4. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Oh come now Alec. You must know about Kenta Cho.

    *faith in Alec wanes*

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    How much dan could a maku dan if a danmaku could maku dan?

  6. zeh says:

    There goes my idea of creating a procedurally-generated shmup with flat-shaded models.

  7. DeVadder says:

    Does not feel very random, to be honest. And quite repetitive…
    Not only to i only encounter the same 5 or 6 enemies, but even the patterns in which they enter screen repeat again and again…
    Only the amount of bullets increases.

    edit: Having played a little more i believe there are at most 15 different rooms that spawn in different order. Also not much more than 5 or 6 backgrounds that just sometimes are applied tilted.
    Currently my highscore is only determined by how many of the two rooms with default spheres spawning in the bottom half (that huge spiral and the sqaury shaped pattern) i encounter after 300k. I cannot beat them with at that stage anymore :(
    That makes the random part really annoying….