Gamma Bros.


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Rating: 4.8/5 (80 votes)
| Comments (44) | Views (75)

gammabros.gifJohnBGamma Bros. is a deliciously slow-paced old-school space shooter created by PixelJam. Although simple in looks and design, Gamma Bros. gives the illusion of a massive game world interspersed with moments of action and quiet space floating.

The brothers Buzz and Zap Gamma work in a giant space station near Jupiter. Their homes are on Earth, so each day they commute to and from their lab. It's a long trip filled with hazards in the form of strange creatures, enemy ships and careening asteroids. Your task is to guide them home after a long day. Make the trip from Jupiter to Earth while blasting enemies, collecting space coins and taking in the serene atmosphere.

Leaving the Jupiter station you choose one of the brothers to pilot. Buzz, the brother with the wild hair, and Zap, the one in blue, are different in appearance only. Take them out of the airlock and your journey begins. Enemies travel in packs and fly in patterns before settling on the side of the screen. If you don't destroy them as they appear, they'll form a large group that gradually moves toward you, sort of like a horizontal version of Space Invaders. Using the [arrow] keys to move and [WASD] keys to fire in four directions, maneuver your brother through the ships and take them out one by one.

Power-up canisters can be found by defeating enemies or purchased from a fly-by salesman who appears from time to time. Nab items like a double-laser, penetrating shots, or temporary invulnerability. You can also restore some energy to your damaged craft by picking up health canisters. If you take too many hits, your ship bites the dust and leaves you floating in a space suit. If this happens, your brother comes to the rescue. Tag him to switch characters and continue the long journey home.

The best part of Gamma Bros. is the deliberately slow, quiet gameplay. Background music plays only during important parts of the game, leaving the rest of your trip silent except a few sound effects. Surprisingly the slow pace makes Gamma Bros. twice as exciting. Mixing action with the serenity of gently scrolling backgrounds goes a long way for ambiance. Gamma Bros. is proof you don't need fancy video cards and polygons to make an immersing game. Just a good eye for composition.

Play Gamma Bros

WindowsWindows:
Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the free full version

Thanks to Nikola, Nick and Arthur for letting us know about this one!

44 Comments

THis game was suggest by me!

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Fun. But takes a while to get started.

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HOw do i start the game once the dudes are in their ships ? ? ?

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Rhinestone Kevin June 29, 2006 2:17 PM

Use the arrow keys and the enter key. The keys WASD control the directon you fire.

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The level 2 password is GOLVL2 .

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skatche June 29, 2006 3:50 PM

Wow. What a rush. This game is awesome.

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Wow, what a rush indeed. That was quite the game.

Spoilers about the game:

I'm glad that the game ended. I was afraid that it would be one of those games that went on forever, but beating the game was very satisfying
Also, the 1st boss with the 3 ships and of course the final boss were VERY intense fights. What a great experience overall

And now the passwords for those who are curious (I think I got them right)

GOLVL2
GOLVL3
SHIP2
SHIP3
SUPER

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Sadly, it crashed the browser under Flash 7/Linux, but what do you expect. Just a heads-up to other Linux users out there.

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Hey, can anyone else confirm that you DO NOT get a password for levels when you've started a game using one?

I got to what I figured was level 4, using a password i got to get to level 2, and did not get a new password when i died.

Anyone else get this?

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Endymion June 29, 2006 9:48 PM

there are only 3 levels so the only other level code is

golvl3
and you get more passwords when you finish the game

by the way this game freakin rules

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well the passwords follow a pattern

Level 3 is GOLVL3

Don't forget that you have to add a space after the password and the start button will flash.

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You can still get a password even if you continue from a password. For example, I entered password for level 2, got myself killed on level 3, and then got a new password. :)

I'm stuck on the part with that blob with two eyes who keeps changing the background and unleashes enemies out of his rear end whenever I shoot him.

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That was a hard last boss. Wish there was a way to tell that I was actually doing some damage. Well, I just kept shooting until he blew up finally.

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I was able to finish the game. There are 3 lvls. The final boss is intense.

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Really fun game. Classic but with a lot of detail and one of the rare pixel games that creates good atmosphere what with the debrie flying into the reachs of space, music etc. Nice find ;)

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Oh and the little robot that runs around the station kind of reminds me of 'Gerr' (or however its spelled) from Invader Zim.

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Here are some tips:

- Buy upgrades whenever you can. That dude who flies by once in a while sells them.

- Every once in a while the other brother flies by. Bumping his ship will switch control to the that brother (and also give you full armor because he wasn't fighting). Your weapon, and shield, if you have one, are transferred also. So switch if you are low on health, or if you are not in a ship.

- If you buy a new ship, if the other brother has lost their ship, they will take control of the one you just left.

- Often, many enemies cannot defend themselves from an attack from above or below. This includes the fighters in formation, the robot brain boss, and the fighter bosses when they are facing left or right. Take advantage of this.

- Shooting a super bomb works just as well, if not better, than picking it up.

- Asteroids drop gems which up your score. The bigger the asteroid, the more likely that a gem will come out of it when you blow it up.

- The two final weapons are both good choices, but the laser can cut through several enemies at once if they are destroyed by a single shot.

- Since most of the time enemies enter the screen from symmetrical sides and points, you can somewhat predict where they will come from and shoot at the spot preemptively to stem the flow of fighters.

- The enemies that come out of the skull boss drop stuff, and you can use this to get your upgraded weapon back. However, the tiny black debris cannot be destroyed, and the boss can telekinetically fling it at you, so watch out. Also watch out for the other brother to pop in in the middle of the battle so that you can switch off to him.

Speaking of the skull boss, you probably want to fight him on a monitor that isn't being exposed to any direct light. Or else you can't see the various debris that will kill you very fast.

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Oh, and I think the last guy on that list was me. Right?

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this game is Brilliant, I do so love the oldschool retro music. Highly entertaining. Well done fellow pixaler.

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I liked it a lot...I didn't have the skill to get past the three ships, but if I had another three hours, maybe I woulda gotten somewhere

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Awesomely cool game. It really feels like an old school space shooter, even down to the color of the lazers. And the design is amazing.

I can't seem to get those passwords to work though. I managed to get to the brainaic on my own, but died during the fight and I didn't see a password. Do you have to be offered a password in order for it to work or something? I get the 'add a space after typing it' thing, but it starts me at level one no matter what I do..

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really fun game. nice add

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i'm pretty sure you dont have to put a space after the password. in fact, if you do, it may not work!

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Capt_Poco July 3, 2006 9:15 PM

How do you use/enter in the passwords?

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Rev. Layle July 7, 2006 1:50 AM

Another game feature: When you have 25 or more gems, you will given opportunities to ressurect a "dead" brother from a shadow ship that appears occasionally, which costs, incidentally, 25 gems.

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Is it just me, or is it impossible to buy new ships after you've put in either of the ship passwords?

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Evilwumpus July 8, 2006 9:37 PM

Spoilers for the bosses:
3 Fighters:

You will first see these guys as shadows in the background. They'll fly offscreen, fly back on in the foreground, attack, go offscreen, and come back as shadows. They will always come back from the side they exited from, so you can shoot them whil they're still coming onscreen. To kill them, fly off to their sides, and pound them continuously. All their attack hit the front, so you're safe there.
Attacks:
Huge laser beam: Get out of the way. Fast. They stand still while shooting, so this is your best time to attack.
Spread shot: Again, get off to the side, unless you have the 1337 skills needed to dodge. Again, they're more or less stationary for this, so you can beat them up.
Charge: They just fly across the screen. Stand in front, and pound them, then fly out of the way. The best place to hit them is in front or behind, where you have a straight shot.
Missiles: Sometimes when they charge, they will send out missiles. Focus on the fighter first, because the missiles are easy to dodge and shoot down.

Brain in a Jar:

This guy isn't very fancy. He flies around very fast and summons hordes of little balls to hit you, but he doesn't have any attacks of his own. At low health, one arm will break off. This doesn't affect him any.
Attacks:
Charge: He flies around in a squarish pattern, trying to hit you. Stay back and try to hit him from the sides and back.
Summon: He will create 4 or 9 balls of any of the 3 colors. Blow these up first, because they cause a lot more trouble than he does, particularly if he summons Red ones.

Final Boss: Skull Thing:

This guy is really tough. First, the background will turn red, and you'll only see shadows of enemies, making them hard to dodge. Next, he takes away all your fancy laser cannons. Finally, he has tons of health and a lot of special attacks to keep you busy. Try your best to dodge, and shoot him as much as you can. He'll die eventually.
Attacks:
Summon: He will shoot a stream of enemies from his rear. The enemies can be of any type. Shoot him from the front while he does this, and then kill the enemies later. Don't ignore the enemies completely, though, because they are the only way to relevel your laser. Bomb capsules are your best bet here.
Laser beam: His eyes will glow, and then shoot a beam of energy at you. It will explode into more blasts if shot, and if it survives, it will split off and turn a few corners before expiring. It's easy to dodge, though.
Darkness: The background will go black, completely hiding all enemies. Keep shooting and hope you don't hit anything.
Once his health gets low, he uses a different set of tricks (though he will use still use his first attacks occasionally).
Debris: Some invulnerable particles will start drifting around the field, vaguely following you. They're hard to see on the red background, and they will be your biggest pain. They don't deal much damage individually, but the continuous drain can kill. Keep your eyes peeled.
Charge: He will fly around the field almost continually, trying to hit you. Like with the 3 fighters, hit him from the front, then dive away.
Shot trail: When he flies around, he will shoot a burst of shots at you. They're easy to dodge.

P.S.
My end results:
2136 out of 2525 enemies killed (84%)
41% accuracy
3343 total coins
31 gems (not needed, no-one died)
1,861 seconds played (31 minutes)
Final Score: 6,949,200
I got a free download of the theme song for my troubles.

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At the last Boss/spoiler>spin and attack if you made it eyes red avoid it....ok?anyone reading this please play at www.runescape.com ok?

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To use the passwords, you need to download the game. The password feature isn't available in the online version.

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Note to other (x86/amd64) Linux users: if you download the play-at-home PC version, it runs without any problems under Wine.

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Bleeding hell, that final boss just REFUSES to die.

And given that visibility's tricky....is this a battle of attrition?

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Languidiir January 1, 2007 11:10 AM

Born_2_Kill203:

Why do you want more people to play runescape?

Also: "At the last Boss/spoiler>spin and attack if you made it eyes red avoid it....ok?"

What does that mean, exactly?

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CAN NOT BEEN LAST BOSS. Thanks for all the hints, but I guess I stink

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Ryan Thompson April 17, 2007 5:19 AM

How the heck do you use the other two spaceships seen in the opening sequence?

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Ryan Thompson April 17, 2007 5:35 AM

What do the passwords SHIP2 SHIP3 SUPER do? I've tried them but I'm not seeing anything different. :( Anybody know any other passwords for fun features?

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this game is awsome!

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this game = awesomeness! the passwords change your ship and give you lots of money and give you ultra weapon at the start

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Yeah, this game is well cool!! Very intense with the bosses - I've got as far as the second boss.

Yeh, like Ryan Thompson said, how do you use the other two ships??

Thanks for the tips everyone - I'll have to use them!!

Yeh, THIS GAME ROCKS!!!

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Soo... what do the gems do again? They seem to be just for points, as far as I can tell. But several of you have commented on how they "weren't needed since none of the brothers died"

Other than that, this is a great game. Nice difficulty, and entertaining enough to make me play it for a while.

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Anonymous June 8, 2008 6:31 PM

one time a dude flew by and i bought a ship for 20 gems

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The only thing that I can add that might be any use, is about the part where those little round head things are spelling out letters near the end. Well they spell out GAMMA but if you just keep to the sides and corners then you are pretty much out of their way.

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so i figured out that the last boss only poops out guys when you shoot

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machiavelli33 May 18, 2009 2:27 AM

A few notes about this game:

The Final Boss

This guy has two modes, slow and fast.
He'll be in slow mode when you first see him, and he strips you off your weapons...he'll drift lazily and not seem to put much effort into shooting you.
Once you upgrade your laser to either the heavy laser or the pulse laser (basically the most powerful you can get without going up to that insane three-way laser) he probably recognizes that you could be an actual thread and perks up into fast mode. I have a feeling fast mode is the only mode that you only do any actual damage to him, so focus on downing the small fighters and levelling up your laser when you first encounter him.

Also regarding Gems:

I don't know if this is just for the downloadable version, but at a certain point, towards the end, if you have enough gems and you're down one Gamma Brother, a black ship will come drifting by and you can pay him 20 gems to bring your other brother back, piloting a jet black version of his ship.
He only comes by once, as far as I know.

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Deacon Cole March 30, 2010 9:49 PM

I found this game to be rather fun. My biggest complaint is that it would have been improved tenfold with eight directional firing rather than only four. Not being able to shoot diagonally was more frustrating than challenging.

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