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Friday 21 February 2014

RetroShips - Space Shooter Review - Oldschool Shoot 'Em Up!

RetroShips by TLD GAMES is an oldschool vertical scrolling shoot 'em up game. It features retro graphics, great music, very simple controls and ... bullets. Lots of bullets.

The setup is pretty simple - you have a ship equipped with a cannon and there's a lot of things looking forward to destroying you. But there's more - you start with a basic single bullet gun, but by killing the mini-bosses you can get cool upgrades ranging from double barrel cannon, guided rockets to the ultimate kill-them-all megablast. You have only a very limited supply of lives - it takes just five hits to destroy your ship - and even on easy difficulty you will have to push your ship to the limits to survive.

The graphics are really cool. The retro feel of the ship, enemies and bosses goes very well with the special effects like smoke and nebulas. Explosions are pixelated but you won't mind, because it just feels like you are playing on that old machine in an arcade...


The enemies are moving in defined patterns. Whenever you fail to finish a level, you can learn it, go back and do better. This always made replaying the games so worth it! And if nothing helps, there's always the megablast...


Each stage is divided into eight levels, where the eighth level is a boss fight. This plays very well on mobiles, when you might not have enough time to finish the whole stage at once. The boss fight is really challenging and thanks to the saved progress, you can go straight to it. The in-game currency system allows you to upgrade weapons which helps with the harder levels, too.


The epic music playing throughout the game nicely adds to the action atmosphere. You will find yourself humming the tunes after you finish the nasty boss ship!

When it comes to controls, RetroShips use only one finger. It takes some time to get used to it, because the ship is controlled by moving your finger over the screen. You need to find a position where you can comfortably move your ship without obstructing the view. But as soon as you find it, playing the game anywhere is a breeze.

The game is free, supported by ads that popup here and there when you pause or exit the game - so no accidental ad click when you are just about to finish the boss...


RetroShips is a great addition to the oldschool shoot 'em up genre. If you like similar games, you will like this one too. The simple controls and the arrangement of levels and stages make it easy to play the game anywhere, but the "hard" and unlockable "insane" difficulties greatly improve the replayability.

The game is free, you can download it from Google Play store.
Martin Varga is a Czech software developer who likes pygmy owls (hence Kulíš), running, ramen, travelling and living in foreign countries. He is also known as smartus or sm4 on the internet (read as smartass, but there are too many of them). He currently tries to make games in AndEngine like Mr. Dandelion's Adventures and hangs around a lot at the AndEngine forums.