What do you get when you take the arcade classic Space Invaders and mash it together with power-ups, neon graphics,explosions, and awesome local multiplayer? You get Super Destronaut DX from developer Petite Games and publisher Ratalaika Games. This takes the simple concept of blasting away enemy UFOs and modernizes it in a simple, fun, and addictive arcade shooter that keeps you wanting to come back and try for that high score.
Petite Games is not new to the Nitnendo Switch or to space shooters themselves. They have developed several eShop titles for the Nintendo Switch such as InkSplosion and Midnight Deluxe. In the past they have also released a slew of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games including the original Super Destronaut games. Super Destronaught DX seems to be a combination of all of the previous entries, but continues to evolve and modernize the formula.
I am a complete sucker when it comes to space invader type games. I simply LOVE them with all my heart and soul. I am not sure what it is, to be honest with you, but something about them just warms my heart. I have played many of the official space invader remixes that have come out over the years and really enjoyed them. Super Destronaut DX blends the traditional invader concept with some trippy awesome visuals. The stand out twist on gameplay is the introduction of "grey" enemies that come at you not only from the top of the screen but on the Z axis of the game. It makes your mind think about playing the game completely differently because if you run into one of these baddies you lose a ship and your multiplier goes away. On top of all of that, each enemy has unique bullets that zig-zag, track you, and shoot in random directions. It is a lot to keep track of but makes it so much fun all at the same time.
Let's talk about that multiplier because it really is the core to the gameplay. If you want to topple that leaderboard then you need to constantly keep the multiplier increasing and pray that you never get hit by a random bullet. It also makes you evaluate how you blow up enemies as there is a "mega" ship that when destroyed gives your weapon a random power up. You can try to take the ship out early and whip out the rest of the wave, destroy one of the sides first, or take out everything except the mega so you start the next wave with a full power up. Even after hours I am not sure if I have mastered this skill, but it keeps me thinking.
I keep finding myself coming back to this game time and time again to try for a high score. You can play for a hour or just a few minutes, and I think that is the beauty of Super Destronaut DX. The one thing that I wish was that there was more to the game, because once you finish the challenges there isn't incentive to go back and play them again. I still love it though and totally worth my $5!
Super Destronaut DX became interesting to me once I saw Motz playing it a bit. I've never been a huge fan of Space Invaders (or its clones) but from what I saw it looked challenging and I liked the idea of the online leaderboard. I also really wanted a game that I could pick up, play for a bit, and put back down without committing a ton of time to it. Being that it was also JUST $5 on the eShop, I had to go for it.
When you first start the game you'll notice that it feels very familiar. It handles as you would expect. Your ship can move from side to side while shooting rows of enemies that gradually move closer to you from the top down. The enemies are made up of several "types" each represented by a color and its own weapon trait. In addition to the weapons, some of the types require more hits before you can kill them. Occasionally you will see an orange enemy shit appear. Once you kill this ship, you will have a weapon power up for a very short time. This, plus the more untraditional obstacles that Motz mentioned, and there is A LOT in this game that's trying to kill you!
Super Destronaut DX offers several modes including Challenges, Classic Mode, Time Attack, Hardcore, and Multiplayer. Challenges gives the player 30 different challenges to complete. These range from reaching a certain score in a limited time to hitting a greyed out ship husk a set amount of times. While its fun to go through, there's really no reason to go back once you have done them all. You can't improve on them. It's either you've completed it or you haven't. For me, the real fun of the game is trying to get to the top of the online leaderboard! Especially if you have a friend or two all working to be the best. The other modes (Time Attack, Hardcore) also have an online leaderboard but as of right now, they don't seem to be working.
There are a few issues with the game though. While it's a BLAST trying to work up the leaderboard, I do think it can get a bit repetitive. I'd love if the music changed as it got more intense or when you're doing really well. As it is, its just the same song over and over. That, added with the constant announcer voice, and I mostly played with the sound off. I also find the game navigation to be a bit clunky. It works, it just doesn't feel intuitive. Lastly, it seems as if the waves of enemies (and power-up ships) are random. This is both good and bad. On one hand, you never know what to expect! On the other, when you have a game built around the idea of getting the highest score and beating out other players for the top, it seems rather unfair. This is especially noticeable in the Challenges mode. There are some challenges that you can NOT beat until you get the right combination of enemies/power-up ships. This ends up removing a lot of the skill from the game and just places the win on luck.
All in all, I'm having a lot of fun with Super Destronaut DX! Its a great pick up and play game. For $5 on the eShop, I'd say it was well worth the money.
- Read about Nintendo Dispatch's Reviewing Policy.
- Motz & Michael purchased the game from the Nintendo eShop, fully finished all challenge modes, and other various modes.