Rapid Wars


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StaceyG"Rapid WarsSurvive as long as you can in Rapid Wars, the new addictive arcade shooter by Jussi Kari of ooPixel. Several of their games have been featured here in the past including Gride, which received 3rd place and the Viral Award in our 5th Casual Gameplay Design Competition (CGDC5).

Movement is key in this shooter game, both from your colorful enemies and your ship. Move the ship with either the [arrow] keys or [AWSD]. The shooting is automatic and constant. All you do is aim with the mouse, so you are free to focus on position rather than pounding away to shoot.

Borrowing the two-fisted Robotron mechanic, and with a nod to Geometry Wars, Jussi creates engaging dynamics in the enemies (which I will forever just refer to as the "lucky charms rainbow of pain" - LCROP). Rapid WarsEach colorful bad guy has its own unique personality. One drifts aimlessly, one hones in on you and hunts you down, one seems ambivalent towards you and then suddenly pounces! On occasion, the destruction of brightly colored evil produces much needed amoeba-looking power ups. Try to chase down each precious egg before it fades away. They're cumulative so you can utilize several types at once, increasing bullet frequency, power, flow, or if you're lucky get a small reprieve with a bubble of health. When things get really frantic, you will really need the health power up. I'd say keep an eye on your health indicator, but you won't have time to look at it.

Besides survival and racking up the highest score possible, there are a series of hidden achievements you can see if you mouse over the row of stars on the bottom of the screen. These include 10x combos, reaching 50,000 points, beat the boss, and one that could be called the "the bull ride": last 10 seconds with 50 enemies. But if those are too hard to achieve, you could certainly just enjoy the more casual version, trying to survive as long as possible.

Analysis: Gameplay is frenetic, addictive and fun. The performance was really smooth. Even when the screen was filled with enemies I didn't experience any lag (except in my reaction times). When an enemy destructs, the board warps like a rippling pond, which is a nice effect. The constant explosions of pixels flying everywhere is a sight to behold; tiny details like the bullets bouncing off the walls didn't go unnoticed. You can see each new LCROP pixilating itself into existence, watching for this really comes in handy so that you aren't sitting on top of a spawning spot.

It does get hard to see what's going on when the arena is full. Your small, pale white ship and mouse target can get lost visually in all the action, especially in the lower corners where display info was. Sometimes I couldn't figure out where I was on the screen. Another complaint has more to do with me — frantic clicking leads to accidentally hitting the [Q] key which just ended the game abruptly without any prompt to save or restart — arghh. So I would like them to give you the option not to quit, or better, just don't use the Q.

It's nice to see the work of the game makers grow over time here on JIG. I think this is ooPixel's best game to date, and look forward to see what they do next.

Play Rapid Wars

26 Comments

simple but eyecatching :D

This game reminds me a lot of the game Neon Wars by Blitwise

How do you get to the boss and get active movement?

@carnax

I was going to post to say that Neon Wars and this should remind you of Geometry Wars... But I started doing some research and it seems Geometry Wars was released in 2003, while the Neon Wars website has a copyright date starting from 2001...

It may be that Geometry Wars was actually a clone!

That makes it somewhat bizzare(hehe) that Bizzare Creations (the company who made Geometry Wars) is sueing over their IP to take down the clones.

You get the boss by getting all of the other stars. I don't know how to get teh active movement.

Active Movement:

I'm not sure what the exact trigger was, but I didn't move my mouse cursor once it started, the I just kept circling the screeen constantly, so I was always moving, and I didn't switch directions, so I didn't stop, and after 180 seconds I got it.

also

I have all the stars, but how do you fight the boss?

Thanks for your comments so far :-)

Active movement:

To get active movement you only need to move a lot. Keep moving all the time and I think you will get that award at around 200 seconds.

The boss will be unlocked when you have completed all other 10 tasks. A button "challenge boss" will appear and pressing that will let you fight the boss.

Also, if you really badly want to fight the boss and you just cant complete all 10 tasks. Well, I did a small cheat to allow that.

Are you sure? This will spoil it for you!

Type "oopixel" in the menu.

Sky:

That copyright date is for Blitwise the company, not Neon Wars specifically. The copyright on the actual game is 2006, three years after the first version of Geometry Wars, and one year after Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved came out and started selling XBoxes single-handedly. There's no question in my mind: Blitwise took inspiration from Bizarre Creations, and not the other way around.

But I don't think Bizarre will be suing Blitwise any time soon. Commercial sales by competitors aren't the problem. It's the free games like Grid Wars that are threatening to Bizarre's profits, especially when they try to emulate the gameplay of Geometry Wars precisely.

Not that there's anything wrong with basing your game on Geometry Wars. I know for a fact that ooPixel made Rapid Wars as a sort of tribute to Geo Wars, but they went their own way with it, and it's unquestionably an ooPixel game now. The enemies, scoring system, power-ups, and the whole feel of the game are all original. It's nice that Geo Wars touched off such a massive revival of this kind of game. Each one has its own little flavor.

Great game, but I think I found a small but gamebreaking bug. I'm currently fighting the boss but:

Whenever an evil circle transitions from the yellow to red phase while it was shooting at me, I keep getting shot and die extremely fast. This is why I can't beat the boss.

Bug in the boss:

if you kill a yellow while it's still zapping you, you'll still be zapped when it turns red. Except without lightning. Or targetting the closest target. Or limited range.

Also, though apparently wrong, I kinda like mystify's idea of what active movement is than what it really is.

Geometry Wars-type games are fun, and this one is absolutely no exception. The problem for me, though, was that I couldn't see my cursor! Once I died, I realized that there was one, but that it was several hundred pixels off to the left and up from where the mouse actually is, which isn't very practical. Is this is a bug with the game that can be fixed, or is on my end?

I tried clicking on the game before it finished loading, and that seemed to have done the trick; the cursor is in the right place now.

I found the boss to be extremly difficult. I guess thats the point but i think it would be a bit better if you got like a small health bonus for each circle you defeat?

It was a pretty good game. Well-done. But it doesn't feel any different or special from the other retro shooter out there.

Thank you for your bug report about the boss. I will fix it as soon as possible (likely not before tomorrow).

Yes, the boss is extremely difficult. That's one of ooPixel flavors, ridiculous difficulty :-) Nice idea giving health from destructed boss parts though. I consider it tomorrow when I fix the bug.

@Psychotronic, thanks, indeed it was meant as a tribute. There are many Flash games that are based more or less on GW. I just felt there would be space for one more, one with very intensive game play and quite fast increase in difficulty. This game is getting hard at about 300 seconds and about impossible like about 450-500 seconds. Personally I like Flash games with short game play. Just so that you can always play one more time :-)

Rapid Wars guide:
Enermies(nicknamed by me)

1.Basic square (blue)

Appears at the begining of the game, the most basic of the enermies, it bounce around the playfield ramdomly

2.Spinners(Red)

Appears after about 3 basic squares. Unlike the basic square, it tend to follow the ship

3.Missile square(Orange)

One of the annoying enermies, it follows the ship like a spinner but it moves quicker, usually comes on groups

4.Zapper(Yellow)

The only type of enermies that is able to do ranged attacks, it moves around slowly, it is very aggressive, when your ship or other enermies is nearby, it'll give you/them a nasty zap

5.UFO sheilds(Green)

It moves very slowly, although it can dash sometimes. It doesn't follow the ship. When it takes damage,it'll become redder until it is destroyed. It can regenerate its health. Sometimes it can be annoying since it act as a shield for other enermies and it takes up a lot of space.

Boss:
How to get it?
Normal method:

Get the ten stars and click the button appeared in the menu

Cheat method:

Type oopixel in the menu screen and click the button appeared

The many disks

The boss of the game. It is composed of nine disks, each disk changes color when taken a certain amount of damage (Blue-Pink-Yellow-Red-destroyed) Its moves is ramdom and unpredictable(Except the red form)

a)Blue form

The starting form, no special attacks, just moves ramdomly

b)Pink form

An improved version of the blue form, it moves quicker

c)Yellow form

This is the most annoying of the forms. It behaves like the blue or pink form and the zapper. When anything is nearby, it gives them a nasty zap

d)Red form

The final form for each disk. It is safer than the other forms (In my opinion) since it just blindly follows your ship.

How to deal?

Blue form:

Just keep shotting, watch its movments carefully!

Pink form:

Same as dealing the blue form, try not to create too many pinks on the screen as it'll then becomes yellow when taken enough damage and there will be mutiple yellows zapping you

Yellow form:

VERY ANNOYING, shot them as frequently as possible to turn them into red. Watch its movments carefully and stay away from it

Red form:

The easiest to handle, jsut move in circles while aiming it,it'll be destroyed after taken enough damage(Watch out for other forms of disks!)

I also found that once you get all the hidden stars you have to reload the game in order to see the button which let's you fight the boss.

I like the games form of movement as opposed to some same-style games which force you to rotate with left and right and then go forward with the up button.

@secret, Thanks for the guide! Only correction is that the boss consists of ten (not nine) disks.

And I would say that the most important thing when challenging boss is that you avoid having multiple disks in the yellow form at the same time. Personally I handle the boss beating one disk at a time.

@Maqrkk, Thanks, I'll fix that one as well.

@Rowenc23, Yeah, Asteroid Adventure is an older ooPixel game. It has control method where you have to rotate your ship and thrust with up key. It is easily ooPixel's least played game.

I also try to kill one disk at a time, several yellow disks is suicide.
I haven't beat the boss yet though. One time I was left with only 2 disks, and still died!

Wew, just had an almost perfect go at the boss. I had 100% health with 5 disks down. I killed him now, finally. So proud :D

Well done Maqrkk! :-)

Bugs mentioned above are now fixed. (beaming continuing from yellow to red state and need to reload once gotten all the stars).

Something forgoten in the last post:

Pink spinners

They stationed at where they're spawn for a few seconds and gradully spins faster and faster. It then aim for the ship and dash to it and repeat the above steps again.

Update to The Many Disks walkthrough(boss)

Well, I've just beat it, and it is hard

Blue form

Same as mentioned before, it moves randomly around the screen.

Pink form

Moves faster and randomly, but somehow aiming for your ship. Don't allow too many of them in the screen, as it is hard to avoid their dash

Yellow form

One of the annoying forms, it zaps you mainly, although it sometimes want to crush you flat. It zaps objects which is closest to it. When moving it is usually attracted to nearby objects, forming pairs, their dash is easy to avoid (as long as you don't have too many of them at the same time!)

Red form

It blindly follows you, trying to crush you flat

Tips for dealing the boss:
1.

Actually, the disks itself does more damage than the zapper thing from the yellow form,AVOID ANY COLLISIONS IF POSSIBLE!!!!!

2.

Try to focus one disk at a time until you destroyed it

3.

Shoot as close as possible(Without touching the disks!) to deal great damage in seconds (Blue->Pink->Yellow in 5 seconds when using this method!)

4.

Stay away the courners! (The disks like to crush you there)

And one more tip....

Patience and good planning!

Hope this helps!
Happy smashing!!!!

Indeed good tips :-)

Here are some more with some facts:

Boss:

- Electric beam damages you with the speed of 1/5 when compared to direct hit with any enemy. So, as said above, avoiding direct hits is much more important than avoiding beams. This applies to normal game as well.

Normal game:

- The most important thing in surviving long is collecting all the upgrades. Especially so from 100 to 250 seconds. If you fail collecting upgrades, the game will end at some point when the screen is filled with enemies and you still have the poor initial weapon. If you can collect enough upgrades, at some point you have all the time max upgrades (except health...)

- When you are smashing enemies with full weapons at like 350 seconds, you still have to run a bit to keep you super weapon, but even more important at this point is to collect explosion and bullet time upgrades.

- All the enemies drain your energy when you hit them. So one of the worst things is to let following orange enemy group go though you. If there is 10 orange enemies, hitting the group drains your energy with 10x speed. Collision is short but it drains your energy super-fast.

- In the end game (300-500 seconds), try staying near the area edges. Mid-area is far more dangerous.

I just made it all-time second (it's now third) using these methods yesterday :-) I survived about 450 seconds.

Active Movement:

To obtain active movement, I left the mouse cursor in one place and was continuously moving the ship with the controls.

[Edit: Spoiler tags added. -Pam]

The sound doesn't seem to work on the linked version any more. I had to play it on a different site if I wanted the music.

[Edit: Thanks for the report. The site we're linking to is the developer's own site, so I've reported it to them. They'll have it fixed in a jiffy, I'm sure of it. :) -Jay]

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