Already my favourite bad game-name of 2011 (yeah, it was released in December, but shuddup, and your mum smells), Team Sigma's 'Alien Hallway' has just popped out a little demo for you to try. No need to make your mind up about buying Extraterrestrial Corridor based on videos alone - the demo offers the first half-dozen or so levels, three units and assorted upgrades. A few thoughts on Spacebeast Passageway below...
It's another example of what appears to the tower defence heir apparent - the side-scrolling real-time strategy game. Swords and Soldiers was the most recent one we looked at, and this is broadly similar but much, much bigger on progress-via-unlocks. Your shooty men stamp in from the left, various varieties of invading extraterrestrials skulk in from the right.
Aliens. In a hallway. Do you see?
The demo tries its very hardest to tickle you into upgrading to the full version, in that it tells you new stuff is available come levels' end but then forbids access until you've splashed out. In time, it also becomes nigh-on impossible to complete without access to bigger men-with-guns, so you'll find yourself subject to the twin pulls of Stuff and Completion. Then again, that's been Team Sigma's idiom forever - their Zombie/Alien Shooter games are comically mindless exercises in 'just one more level', and while this is their first departure into a different style of game, the same ethos absolutely underpins it.
Would I buy it based on this demo? A dangerous question; I've known enough demos that haven't shown exciting enough content to lure punters in, so forgive an aroma of hesistancy when I say "going on the demo levels alone it seems a little too samey and bland." There are bigger killing tools to come, and they may well redeem it - both in terms of variety and in upping the tactical complexity to something other than speed-clicking grind. I wish this demo allowed just a couple more units, or a one-off snatch of a later level, so it could show off more than its most basic mechanics.
Sigma's Shooter games have forever been funny buggers - entertainingly stupid all-out carnage, but I've always found them curiously unsatisfying, despite pouring far too many hours into them. This, their first move into proper 3D, neither looks nor feels quite as meaty, but I'm happy to see them move out of the familiar territory of waving a cursor around and holding down fire until everything's dead. Anyone played the full game? Should I crack open the dusty Meerwallet for it?
Oh yes - you'll find a svelte 50MB of demo right here.
The question is, what comes next? Zombie Hallway? Robo Hallway? Ninja Hallway? Diseased Rhino Hallway? Hungry Mermaid Hallway? This franchise must liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!