Game Review - by James Allen
Back in the day (Thursday, to be exact), most video games were scrolling shooters, where your only objective was to kill as many bad guys as possible. With the recent generations of games, we've seen more elaborate gameplay, story lines, and a multitude of different genres. Space Tripper tries to resurrect that old arcade feeling on your PC; no story, no characters, just blasting fun. Will treading on old ground prove to be an exciting adrenaline rush, or just be a big letdown?
Space Tripper features 14 3D levels to blast your way through. And that's it. Note that most of the levels are extremely difficult and long, but there are still only 14 to blast through. No multiplayer, no head to head, just you and your ship. There isn't even a save game feature, meaning you must complete all 14 levels at once, in a row. Talk about a time investment!
The sound in Space Tripper consists of blasting sounds, enemy sounds, and other electronic bleeps and dings. There is no musical score to accompany your adventures through each level. Just the appearance, and rapid disappearance, of the enemy. Too bad.
The object of each level is to obliterate all the enemies. Your ship is equipped with lasers and spreads to make mincemeat of the opposition. You do have radar to assist in finding the location of the enemies, which you shall utilize to its highest possible usage. The levels themselves are very small, and are usually linear and very claustrophobic. This is one aspect that makes Space Tripper very hard, even on the easiest difficulty setting. You don't have much area to maneuver around and avoid the enemies, and it takes quite a bit of practice to learn how your ship behaves to your actions, so you can stay on the playing surface. Most of the enemies appear out of thin air, and sometimes appear right next to you, ready to wipe you off the face of the planet. It gets slightly annoying after you've spent considerable time attempting a level, and an enemy sprouts up right next to you. There is about a second of warning before adversaries appear, which is usually not enough time with 10 others shooting yellow glowing stuff at you. Space Tripper takes the classic arcade shooter, and adds loads of inherent difficulty.
The graphics are far and away the best aspect of Space Tripper. The beautiful environments are almost worth the low, low cost. This is yet another fake 3D game, where you really play on a 2D plane (not counting falling off edges), but does it ever look good. Everything is very crisp and detailed, with psychedelic backgrounds and smooth ships and aliens. Apparently, outlandish backdrops are the craze with 3D/2D games (see The Outforce for another example). This isn't a bad thing, but sometimes the lavish paintings only serve to distract. Still, the graphics in Space Tripper are very well done, and present the futuristic atmosphere of the game.
Space Tripper definitely leans more toward style than substance. The beautiful graphics are just surrounded by a game that's been done many times before. The trifle number of levels coupled with the substandard sound almost offsets the graphics and standard gameplay. However, if you are a fan of simple arcade shooters, you can spare the low cost for Space Tripper.