I don’t know if you’ve realized yet based on the number of shmup (shoot-em-up) and twin-stick shooter titles I’ve review, but I’ve got a thing for them. I had high hopes for Isagoras, but unfortunately it falls just a bit short.
I’m not knocking the game for being a small budget, independent title because hey – that’s all we review here. And besides, limitations are the driving force behind creativity. From the developer’s mouth, “Nothing so original, but the artistic part is done using only free software tools and mainly Blender, and as the first project of this kind for the entire team (4 people),” and unfortunately it shows at times. The game opens up with a lot of promise and shines at times with enemy and ally ships flying above and beneath you, but there is never any interaction with allies. Your sole interaction with allies is a dialogue box which annoyingly consumes nearly 1/3 of the screen as you are trying to dodge enemy attacks.
That’s not to say that everything about Isagoras is bad – they did get something spot on and that’s the control scheme. Players have the option to use either a one or two handed control options which is a godsend for a shooter. Furthermore, with the two handed control option players can use either the left or right thumb stick to navigate the ship which is necessary for those long breakthroughs.
The missions aren’t radically varied either – they consist of shooting straight through a stage, albeit the same enemies as the stage before just with a different background. I suppose this is simply a flaw within the genre though, but I there could at least have been some variety thrown in there. The levels become difficult to navigate at times, as the player’s ship will face the top right corner of the screen, while the background moves from left to right, and enemies come and attack from your left. If that sounds confusing, just try seeing it. There were a few other questionable design decisions as well – most notably on level three where black enemy ships are attacking you from a the blackness of space.
Perhaps with more development time this title could have really shined. This could be a great start for an up and coming developer, but until then it’s just another mediocre shooter with a great control scheme.
Isagoras was provided for review by developer Red Circle It is available for 240 MS points ($3)