Monday Synapse Overload

Monday afternoon almost gone and your brain isn’t quite up to speed? Emergency measures must be prescribed. The Doctor insists you imbibe a hyperbright modern Shmup to restore vigour. Ah – just what the Doctor ordered…

I wish that I could fire hyper-bright plasma beams. That I can't is a sad part of life. Sad, sad, sad. :( :( :(

Uppity Developer Comments-thread chap Schizoslayer lobbed me Exception last week, but I hadn’t had a chance to play it until now – as a good thing to do when avoiding transcribing an interview like I ought to be. It’s a physics-heavy cross between Robotron, Asteroids, Boulderdash and R-type. Neat elements include enemies being constructed of individual bricks, so if you take off an section, the rest continues – so, for example, if you can blow off a thruster off a brick-ship, it spins out of control. The second included level, where the Boulderdash stuff really comes into play, features some surprisingly cute bits where you’re using large enemy ships as cover as you descend.

It’s not particularly stressful, except on your eyeballs, which is exactly what you need. Worth a shot, or several thousand and some dastardly bricks.


  1. Ian Dorsch says:

    Boulderdash?!? Sold!

  2. tom says:

    What’s with the lisp dude.. its shmup not sChmup :)
    or maybe its your jewish/czech roots coming through.
    Anyways I’ll be tending to my retina with this one when i get back from the anvil…

  3. SteveTheBlack says:

    Ow ow ow ow. Painfully beautiful.

  4. roBurky says:

    That’s some awesome visuals, but are there any english instructions? It feels like the game’s needing some controls I’ve not discovered. Like the ability to fire more powerful shots in more directions than left to right.

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    You can play it with a joypad, but I think the keys are…

    Cursors – Move
    AS – Rotate Gun around you
    Z – Shoot
    X – Hold down for special attack.


  6. JohnG says:

    C is some weird “shove little blocks away from you” weapon who’s power is proportional to the outlined box that apears in front of you.

  7. Ging says:

    I found myself jamming down on A and forgetting to press Z to fire, pretty spinning box, not much use at blowing things up.

    Even with that, I made it to the first “boss” (I think) but my brain couldn’t quite deal with it, so I gave up once I’d beaten it (more through brute force and ignorance than skill).

  8. roBurky says:

    Aha, it was the a and s keys I was missing.

    Which makes it more fun, although I get mixed up a hell of a a lot and end up spinning when I want to fire.

    It makes the part when you’re trying to navigate a maze that collapses when you shoot bits of it a lot easier. Until you get to the lasers that you can’t hit until they’re killing you. I think I get that you’re meant to hide behind the spaceships before they get destroyed but with the limited time and space, that’s just too hard to pull off reliably.

    Still, the visual chaos of the opening of the second level is awesome.

  9. yns88 says:

    Like with that other beat-based shmup featured here, it takes time to really learn the system.

    It was fun, but it really could use a bit less chaos in exchange for a smaller life-bar (even those dastardly lasers barely hurt you in hardened difficulty). As it is, they’re pretty much expecting you to get your ass whooped most of the time.

    So is it only stages 1 and 3 in this demo? Where’s stage 2?

  10. phuzz says:

    ahhhh, so pressing Z fires. I was wondering if I was allowed any form of offensive weaponry. I can’t help thinking that a joypad would make control easier (or is that heresy on a PC gaming site?).
    The ‘push things away from you’ button (AKA ‘c’) helped me out a lot, shoot box, then hurl it’s remains at your enemies :)

  11. Eschatos says:

    Damn, this is pretty awesome. So far my best combo is 771.

  12. finale says:

    Is there a way to hurt the second(third) boss?