On February 14th, some people celebrate a day of love and romance, where a little fellow named "Cupid" flies around shooting arrows that cause people to fall in love. Then again, if you're not big into Roman mythology, that might sound like just as much hoo-haw as a groundhog with annual meteorological tendencies. (Not that I'm bitter. I just think he wouldn't see his shadow if there were fewer paparazzi flashing all these lights at him, but that's a debate for another day.)
You play as one of two cherubs (orange or purple), armed with a bow and arrow. Your goal is to eliminate the enemies on the screen by shooting them. But what if an enemy is in an area you can't reach? There are two ways to go about getting there. First, note all the different types of terrain for you to walk on. You can jump up through some blocks, and fall down through others. Other stones are solid from all sides, while some crumble beneath your feet, or materialize at timed intervals. If the terrain fails you, remember that your primary weapon can also double as a handy instant wall-mounted footstep placement device! (In other words, shoot an arrow into a wall and you can stand on it.)
Fifty levels await you, o intrepid dealer of arrows, but why not grab a friend to play along with you? Twin Shot is designed so that two players can partake in the platforming glory, each with their own sets of keys (player one uses the [arrow keys] to move and [Ctrl] to fire, player two uses [WASD] to move and [F] to fire). You still have to eliminate all the enemies, but with a second player, you get the chance to choose between co-operative play or all-out warfare against your "ally". At the end of each level, a running tally counts the number of rounds each player has dominated. Who will be victorious? (Answer: the archery shop down the street, selling arrows like hotcakes.)
Analysis: Twin Shot is a beautiful platformer, with creative nods to Taito's Bubble Bobble. While the levels might be a bit on the easy side, that's partly why you can get so quickly wrapped up in this game. In the grand tradition of Bubble Bobble's 100+ levels, you have many places to explore, and you should be allowed to go far without too much difficulty.
The sound effects and music also take somewhat of a retro cue, with a bit more of a bleep-bloop sound than some recent Nitrome games. The graphics are quite stunning, with very detailed character designs and backgrounds from Markus Heinel, who also illustrated Ice Breaker. The end result is a game that's aesthetically compelling and soothing.
On the whole, Nitrome brings another excellent platformer to our attention, perfect for playing with a friend or taking the solo challenge. And even if that groundhog says it's going to be cold for a while yet (not that I'm bitter!), this game should help to warm your heart. Awww.
Thanks to too many of you to count for submitting this game!