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Hypership saves me from Space Invaders

Last week Space Invaders: Infinity Gene was release on XBLA without much fanfare. In fact, I completely forgot about that title being the pipeline until it hit the download store. Being an arcade shooter fan, it was quickly on my “buy it” list but after a while there is a little regret. But thankfully a surprise title filled the void.

Space Invaders 3D? Eh, sorta...
Space Invaders 3D? Eh, sorta...

Invaders, possibly from space

Yes, I did play the demo before I dropped the $10 for the full version, but the demo was a bit deceiving. This game is Space Invaders tried and true, but after several levels of play the game does wear a bit thin.  Unlike Space Invaders Extreme, which updated the classic franchise with bright lights, big colors, big scores, and all around shooter fun, Infinity Gene seems to take a step backwards in the sensory overload department.

If the Vegas-style of Extreme wasn’t your cup of tea, then Infinity Gene might settle up nicely, but I was hoping for a little more. That’s not to say IG isn’t good nor a challenge. There’s plenty of tricky dodging and shooting required, and there is a mode of random play, but the overall experience is kind of weak. You won’t find anything new here, really, it’s Space Invaders.


But if you are a casual or closet shooter fan, then a game that will not disappoint and won’t wreck your spending budget is a new indie game out recently called Hypership Out of Control, which you can pick up for only a buck.

Shy of the long title, this game is a homage to the 8-bit days of gaming with retro style graphics and lots of dodging and speed. You have guns but your shooting is pretty limited. Lets get this straight that this is a game of dodging and collecting, not shooting. The premise is your spaceship is out of control and can’t stop, just getting faster and faster…like a Toyota. You have to dodge asteroids, spacestations, mines, and the likes…all while collecting coins and power-ups for scoring.

Foot to the floor shooter fun
Foot to the floor shooter fun

This is one of those games where you play it and may not find it interesting at first, but once you crash your ship and it’s game over, you’ll be back to try again and again. It’s like bowling…it’s an “easy” game that is hard to get right. Hypership OOC is also pretty infinite like Space Invaders. While there are only 10 different levels, the games loops through them until you run out of ships, so you can theoretically go on for hundreds of levels if you’re good enough.

That’s not all for this game, however. For the $1 price tag you get five game modes. You have your normal mode where you fly until you’re all out of ships, but you also have a hardcode mode, top speed mode, and a coin collector mode (my favorite), so there’s bound to be a style of play you can enjoy. And while I haven’t played the game with any other players, it does support local 4-player co-op, so you can totally get your shmupping on with friends if you want. I should also note that the game plays wonderfully with my Hori arcade stick (Infinity Gene does too).

Hypership once again proves that simple can be extremely fun and addicting. Infinity Gene is simple and challenging too, but there’s seemingly less meat on the bone, especially for the price. Hypership is a no-brainer, if you ask me, whereas Space Invaders is probably more for the dedicated shooter fan.