Is there a more iconic video game out there than Space Invaders? Probably, but there is no doubting the impact it’s had on the industry when it made its debut back in the late ’70s. Although there is no sign of a Space Invaders game coming to the Nintendo Switch, the folks at Ratalaika Games and Petite Games were happy to fill the void with the release of Super Destronaut DX.
Not gonna lie, this art style is pretty cool. It feels like a natural evolution of the iconic Space Invaders look without going tastelessly off the wall. The techno theme to it has a visual appeal that pays homage to the graphics of yesteryear while still feeling fresh. The graphical effects that occur also tend to dazzle.
Appropriately enough, the techno backgrounds are complemented by the abstract musical score. The announcer’s voice echoes in a way that doesn’t overshadow the events at hand. Not to mention, hitting enemies with whatever firepower you’ve got feels satisfying thanks to the booming sounds of the explosions.
Super Destronaut DX is a simple shoot ’em up where you fire at waves of enemies to rack up points. The game actually plays better than Space Invaders thanks to the responsive movement, variety of enemy waves, and the fact that you can shoot multiple times in rapid succession. There are also a few modes that change up the way you go for the high score, such as Time Attack and Hardcore (where you have only one life). Local multiplayer is also a thing, and it can get some competitive juices flowing.
If there’s anything I feel is holding Super Destronaut DX back, it’s its Challenge mode. Ideally, it’s like going from one level to another. In practice, about half of these challenges are borderline impossible to complete due to time limits that don’t give you any time to get to the set goal. Not helping this is that the enemy patterns continue to be randomized in this mode. Literally, it takes pure luck to get the chance to finish those harder missions. Online multiplayer also would’ve helped add some longevity to the foray.
As is, the game is best suited for high score chasers. But even that novelty can only hold up for so long. After all, it would be more appealing to play an arcade game that’s far less copied than Space Invaders, like Donkey Kong. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a Space Invaders-style game that plays better than its inspiration, Super Destronaut DX can be a decent time-killer.
Review copy provided by Ratalaika Games