Often I think to myself what I would do if I was ever in a futuristic jet on a futuristic highway chasing tanker trucks, launching missiles at them, and all the while avoiding sentry and assault drones. With Damien Clarke's new game, Jet Speed, I no longer have to ponder this theoretical scenario in my head—I actually get to give it a try!
Let's be honest with ourselves, I think everyone has thought about this at some point—it's perfectly natural. But I've got sour news for you my friends, it isn't so easy. Quite often (every time) my futuristic space felon fantasy results in me and my ship exploding bit by bit all over the screen.
That's because you've got a lot of challenges: not only do you have to dodge traffic as you careen all over the road trying to launch missiles at the escaping trucks, but you also face the powerful sentry / assault drone pair. Sentries will be on the lookout on the road scanning portions of it for your ship. Should be spotted, a powerful attack drone will come at you, launching ten nasty missiles in your direction. Dodge all ten and the drone will foolishly assume you for dead and leave; catch a missile, and you can come hang out with me in futuristic space felon heaven.
Use the arrow keys to move side to side or speed up and slow down. Spacebar will launch your missiles but be careful—ammo is limited and only refilled after destroying a truck (which makes me wonder why I have this insatiable urge to destroy ammo and health trucks when I could just be civil and keep the ammo and health I already have).
After a number of trucks are destroyed, the police will hack into your ship and remove your number of health blocks and ammo available between trucks. There's no way them, trust me I've tried, so you'd best get use to using as little ammo as possible and maybe stop playing "bump the car next to you."
Analysis: Jet Speed is fun, a lot of fun. It's a simple but well polished game with fast smooth gameplay and some different challenges to keep it interesting. It also features a high score board so you can see how you compare to the other felons on the road. Don't look for my score though, it's way at the bottom.
Damien also threw in an Assault Drone training mode to help the poor saps like me with slow reflexes. Take advantage of it, the assault drones were the #1 reason I met an early end in the normal game.
Bottom line, check this game out. Not only will you enjoy it, but you'll finally answer that age old question: "What would I do if I was ever in a futuristic highway chase?"
Bonus: Yup, I contacted Damien, of DX Interactive, yet again to get an inside scoop on this and future projects. Says Damien:
"Jet Speed was first built as a test to get particles and lens flares working with flash 6 (which was the newest version when I started this). That was successful and it looked really nice but I could never get the game to feel right. One of the hardest things about making games is getting the right balance between frustration and determination, making it ramp up the difficulty at the right pace, keeping people interested. And to begin with I just couldn't get it. So I left it there unfinished.
"Two years later I re-discovered it and thought I'd finish it. Added the drones, updated the graphics, made the music for it and built some menus. Complete game ready for the internet done in less than two months :) That's a record for me at least."
For my last review of his game, Missile Game 3D, Damien said he was working on a futuristic 3D police chase game. I asked if this was it, he said:
"Well this game can pretty much be the prequel to the 3D police chase game. Imagine Jet Speed being mashed in with the Missile Game 3D, and that's how I'm planning that police chase game to be like. So far I haven't started working on that one yet."
Doh! I was looking forward to that game. How long are you going to make us wait?
Finally, I had to ask why, on the high score board, some people with less trucks were so much higher than other people with more trucks destroyed.
"The scores are worked out by how much time it takes to blow up each truck. So the faster you are, the much higher your score will be. I don't know how some of the people got such high scores... teach me your ways!"
Can any of you get to the top and teach us?