Warning Forever is a Windows-only, downloadable 2D shooter written by Hikoza Ohkubo of Hikware software. You pilot a tiny green ship with a single versatile weapon and must face off against a constant stream of bosses. No stages, no obstacles, no power-ups, just epic fights with massive enemy ships. And the surprising thing is they learn from your patterns and fight back. Yikes.
The graphically sparse top-down shooter is easy to pick up and play. You have only one weapon and don't have to be concerned with different enemies, items or other distractions. It's just you and the boss. You can control the spread and direction of your gun with a simple button press which allows you to move about the screen and keep your guns pointed at the baddie.
Rather than learning a boss' pattern and eventually circumventing it, the bosses learn your patterns and try to conquer you. It isn't as apparent in the beginning of the game, but several battles in you'll notice they seem a little too smart for their (or your) own good. In order to prevail you have to switch your strategy and learn your own habits. For example, if you defeat a boss by destroying the sides first, the next boss will have better armor on the sides. If a certain boss weapon seems to destroy your ship more often, future enemies will have more of them and use them more often. Before each battle an info screen pops up with some general info about each boss. Look it over, check out the boss ship's construction, then start hacking away.
The default mode of play in Warning Forever starts at 180 seconds and slowly counts down. Each time your ship is destroyed you lose 20 seconds. For every boss you defeat, you gain 30 seconds. When the time reaches zero, it's game over. This is the most balanced mode and should be the one you start out with to get a feel for the game. Other modes include sudden death, a linear timed mode, and a more traditional three lives mode.
Analysis: The idea of bosses evolving to combat your tactics is kind of scary. It really shifts your attention away from the game's design and onto your strategies. You won't notice anything until seven or eight bosses into the game, but then the difficulty ramps up and you can tell a marked difference in how the bosses are constructed. It's a subtle nod to player-centric video gaming that Will Wright must approve of.
The rest of the game has a minimalistic look and feel to it, a stripped-down shooter of sorts. I like the idea of no power-ups or hundreds of swarming enemies. Less frantic button smashing, more thoughtful planning and analysis. It's almost puzzle-like, but you're still dodging bullets and avoiding laser beams.
Warning Forever is available as a free download for Windows-based PCs. Click, and enjoy.