Meteor Busters


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NoahIn the year 2300, two huge meteorites shattered near Dextera's atmosphere, causing deadly debris to shower and potentially destroy the whole planet within hours.

Meteor BustersThat is the story behind Meteor Busters, a simple and beautifully designed top down shooter, and one of the first playable games from the promising Dot-Invasion studio.

To begin, enter any name and click "Play". All subsequent actions are keyboard controlled. Press the [enter] key to start a new game.

The following five ships are available. You can switch between them at any time.

  • Crash Man Ship: Fires bombs that cling onto meteors and explode
  • Second Ship: A short range but large explosion
  • Boring Ship: Shoots a bullet straight ahead
  • Laser Ship: Typical shmup laser gun, straight out of Gradius
  • Gravity Ship: Hit a meteor with this to capture it. Fire again to launch the meteor!

Your attacks become more effective as you destroy meteorites and fill up the three level power meter in the upper left corner of the screen. Oddly, the power meter is universal; if you completely level up the Bomb Ship, for instance, the Laser Ship will also be at maX power, even if you haven't used it before. This makes the game easier, but having to level up each ship individually could have added a welcome layer of strategy. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to recover damaged ships, so if your favorite weapon is destroyed you are out of luck.

Graphically, Meteor Busters truly shines. The sprites look better than those in most commercial games and, surprisingly, they rarely get lost on the screen despite the grayscale palette. Everything looks crisp and professional, from the superb parallax scrolling to the slight shaking of the window and satisfying spray of debris during an explosion.

Now for some complaints. The game begins with an unskippable animation that feels like it takes about ten years to complete. In reality you have to wait less than a minute before taking control, but it can be painful. There also seems to be an issue with the depth of explosions and some ships' attacks; they often obscure other meteors, meaning that you might not be sure if an area is safe to fly through before it's too late.

If you're already a fan of shmups or retro pixels, you'll probably appreciate Meteor Busters. The graphics are lovely and extremely polished and the action is fun while it lasts, though slower than hardcore manic shooter fans might like. It's clear that Dot-Invasion is a talented and dedicated group and, while I wish Meteor Busters had been a bit more ambitious, I'm looking forward to their next project. Click.

By popular demand: Now with bigger screen! Click.

Take a look at a demo of one of their upcoming projects, Forgotten Myths.

26 Comments

I agree w/ the mandatory animation sucking. The screen is a bit tiny as well.

Otherwise, it's good as far as overhead scollers go!

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They did change the animation to make it skippable, and seem to have listened to your "don't make everything level up at once" advice.
However, the mandatory acceleration sucks, as it often doesn't wait for an area to be cleared before suddenly launching you forward, and there simply isn't room to level up every ship reasonably before you're in too tight of a situation to maneuver without a leveled up ship. The damage simply comes too fast, and then you're dead again.
I like the animation quite a bit, but with such a small playing area (and that the meteors come at you from behind as well), the lack of ability to level up combined with the rather random bursts of accelleration make this game too frustrating for me to spend much time with.

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I love this game. It reminds me of the insanely hard CAVE shooters (Japanese Space Shoot-em-ups), except without the millions and millions of bullets everywhere.

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I also spotted your name in the beta-testers credits for this game, Willoughby Jackson. ;)

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Guilty as charged. ;)

I still love the game.

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I think the game would be much better with: colour and A BIGGER SCREEN!!! Aside from that great game and good concept

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I think the biggest flaw comes from the fact that the meteors break apart by themselves, so the screen is often covered with tiny meteors--leaving you with no areas of escape. If the big meteors would just bounce around you could take them on one at a time, pang style. Then it wouldn't be so bad to die with your high level ship in the later levels and be stuck with a bunch of unleveled ships.

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You can actually make those 10 year credits go a little faster by pressing enter throughout it - a few of the scenes will skip a little bit ahead. It'll only take 2 years!

Excellent game. Too bad I'm very poor at it... but will improve!

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Stop posting IE only games, three in a row is to many... Not to bad a game though.

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Arnos: Meteor Busters isn't IE only, it should work in any browser that supports Flash. You had a problem?

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This doesn't seem to be IE only, as it worked using Safari on my Mac...

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"Crash Man Ship," eh? Nice reference to Mega Man 2. ;)

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Ha, this game is addictive. I love how absolutely gameboy-esque the little window is. I still have my original one. Man, is that screen ever small. I don't think I ever noticed it when I played with it back then.

I like the weapons upgrade system. It's very Megacorp, but its cool. It just so happens that I die juuuust before my ship upgrades. =)
So naturally I have to play again.

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This is a fun game, and the lack of color adds a little style to it, but I think if color had been included it would have made it easier to see whether the meteors you were trying to destroy actually were destroyed or not. This is a big problem with the "second ship" especially, since if you just lost a couple ships beforehand the short range and weak power make tackling the bigger meteors really difficult. I can only press the Spacebar button so fast...

Another unmentioned issue that I seem to be running into is the tendency for my ship to stop moving while I'm pressing the Spacebar like a maniac. It's really annoying, and rather deadly too, since it forces me to stop shooting and thus be incapable of extricating myself should I end up with rocks coming at me from all sides.

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Ooh, I just thought of a tip:

Change to the gravity ship at the beginning, that way you can get combos a lot easier and level up a teeny bit faster than you would just by switching to your favorite weapon.

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After playing, my conclusion is the game is true to its name: Meteor Busters. You bust meteors, that's it. No enemy ship, no bullets to dodge, just various meteors. A simple and straightforward game, but also with enough extras to have some replay values.

If you've beaten the game:

The Pinky Mode is worth a try at least once. In my opinion, the Super Pinky Mode is the same as normal Pinky Mode with five lifes. Having five Pinkies with different weapons loadout would've been better.

Pinky Mode:

Left,Right,Left,Right,Up,Down,Right,Left,Button A

Super Pinky Mode:

Left,Right,Left,Right,Down,Left,Right,Up,Button A

Skip to Final Area:

Up,Down,Up,Up,Left,Down,Right,Down,Button A

Infinite Continues:

Right,Right,Down,Up,Down,Right,Left,Left,Button A

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Another cheat: Sudden Death

right left down right right left up up A

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And another: Invincibility

down down up down left right right left A

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The creators have rearranged their website and the links no longer work. The game is now at http://www.dot-invasion.com/dboy/play/index.php?vcart=001".

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Cheers, Ben! I've updated the links above accordingly. =)

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Woo! Bigger screen! This makes the game tons better.

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Thanks Ben, and also thanks for the generally nice comments!
I hope to find the time to add more PixelBoy games in the future ;)

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BreenedandScrooned March 27, 2007 8:27 PM

Grr....I hate the intro. I wish you could just skip it! And since there's no pause, I have to exit the game very time, which means I have to watch the intro every time. It's really annoying. Good game, though.

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LordAngel April 14, 2007 1:19 PM

You can actually pause. Press enter to pause...you can also change planes at the pause menu.

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yea, completed without any cheats! cos i somehow cant get them to work...only after completing then i realised dat Button A is spacebar!!

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stromboli1994 September 9, 2007 9:57 PM

this game is still really good, but my biggest complaint would still have to be about the how when the meteors explode they block a lot of the screen, so you're not sure if there's still anything there and you can approach the area.

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