Vector Boom


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Rating: 4/5 (74 votes)
| Comments (13) | Views (8)

DoraVector BoomIf popular media has taught me anything, it's that space is awesome. Sure, textbooks and "facts" would have you believe that it's a vast, cold and lifeless void, video games and movies will tell you the truth. Adventure lurks around every corner, from pitched space battles to things that want to lay eggs in your chest! Yes, space is a truly wondrous, precious frontier of fathomless delight. So get out there in Vector Boom, the newest sci-fi defense game from Hero Interactive, and start blowing it up!

What are you waiting for? They're going to get you if you don't get them first! What do you mean, "Who's they"? Clearly they... uh... well, obviously they're... hmm. Vector Boom doesn't exactly provide a whole lot of explanation as to why your space station is under immediate and constant attack, but the fact that the approaching waves of enemy ships and rockets seem particularly eager to turn you into space dust should be incentive enough for a little return fire.

Unlike most defense games, you'll take a much less passive part in the battles as you use your mouse to decimate incoming enemies. Hold left-click and drag on an area to select the scope of your shot's explosive power, indicated by the grey radius, and then let 'er rip. Each shot uses up power, as indicated by the blue bar at the top of the screen, and the bigger the blast the more you use. But be careful, as while power recharges fairly quickly, your enemies don't just wait placidly to be destroyed.

As long as you have power left, you can fire as quickly as you can click and select an area, so it's important to be constantly on the move for your next target. But at the same time, your enemies are on the move too. Not only shot timing but placement is important here; too small a blast won't take out all oncoming threats, but waste too much time making a big one and your enemy could be somewhere else by the time your shot lands.

Between each level, you can use the cash you earn to purchase various upgrades for your station. Things like recharge speed and increasing the amount of damage you can do is always tempting, but don't neglect your defenses. While they're nowhere near as effective as the shots you fire manually, you'll find turrets available for purchase that fire independently at anything that comes within range.

While some enemies will zip in towards you kamikaze style, others will fire on you from a distance, and there's a surprising variety of them. Just when you've gotten used to the idea of what appears to be a giant space oil tanker intent on exploding all over you, the mines and missiles start showing up. The different patterns of attack and movement force you to be on your guard and keep a close eye on your health, shown here by the green bar above your power. Keep an eye out for the various powerups — obtained by shooting them -- which can do anything from temporarily shielding you to magnetically drawing all enemies on screen to a single point... which definitely comes in handy as things quickly start getting hairy.

Vector BoomAnalysis: The first few levels of the game are deceptively easy. Had I really been some sort of interstellar space pirate queen, I would have been reclining comfortably on my throne built from the skulls of my enemies, smacking my gum and reading gossip magazines. And then level three would come along and swarm me to death. It doesn't take long for the pace to start picking up, and the tidy little groups of enemies get bigger, meaner, and faster. At first the amount of health you're given seems like a ridiculous amount, but believe me when I say the game doesn't let you get comfortable for long. The enemies may not do much damage individually, but as their numbers increasing to insane levels your health can drop dramatically in a short time.

Vector Boom's click-and-fire interface helps draw you in more than most other defense games, but I still found myself wishing for additional attacks. A wider variety, perhaps accessed by scrolling through them with the mouse, would have gone a long way towards keeping the gameplay fresh. Oh, what's this, enemy rockets? Guess I'll drop an explosion on them... just like everything else. Even one or two additional forms of ammunition would have spiced things up considerably.

At just ten levels, Vector Boom feels a little short, even with it's Survival Mode, which has you see how long you can last against endless waves of enemies. It's a nice option, but I really would have liked the main campaign to be longer because it's a ton of fun while it lasts. If you have fast fingers, you can blow through it fairly quickly. While Survival Mode grants you the ability to upgrade your station right away with a nice lump sum of cash, it's not quite as satisfying as clawing your way through the waves for enough cash to gradually turn your station into an all-powerful avatar of explosive death.

Vector Boom is a lot of fun, even if it winds up a snack rather than something really meaty. The gameplay quickly gets fast and furious, it's easy to pick up, and it's sleek, simple presentation is lovely. People who like their defense games to be played at a more sedate pace may be put off by Vector Boom's need for fast reflexes a bit of a turn off, but others will find the experience a welcome challenge.

Play Vector Boom

13 Comments

Wicked FUN! I'm sure my score is lousy, though. LOL!

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Oh HECK yes.
Best thing to do here is get the max power powerup and just nuke the whole screen in one blast. Click on your turret and drag the explosion-bubble off the screen. BOOM.

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This is from the same people as Storm Wind, right? In that game, there were many weapons, some of which got confusing to switch between. This is the other extreme of that: one weapon that can handle anything. Still, firing explosions of varying diameter is still a fun attack.

The undiluted blow-everything-up action is a fun little game, but it looks like it'll be really easy to lose interest if you fail a stage.

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Gobsmacked June 8, 2009 5:13 PM

Hmm. Dumb? Yes.

Stupidly impossible? Almost immediately, yes.

Try again, guys. No fun to be had here, unless you enjoy futilely clicking to no effect as invulnerable ships kill you.

Who play-tests this crap? This is one of the most terrible games I've seen yet. Okay, I guess I have seen games that were stupidly impossible from the first SECOND, as opposed to the 30 - 40 seconds this takes to go from a game to "flash movie where you watch yourself die over and over no matter what you try to do".

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I think you must be doing something wrong, Gobsmacked, or you're playing an entirely different game than what's linked to on this page.

Although some enemies will invariably get through even from the start, they don't do much damage (at first), which gives you time to accumulate points to buy upgrades with.

My major gripe with the game was the constant click-drag mechanic it requires, but that doesn't make the game unplayable by any stretch of the imagination.

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Maybe he's playing the game with something running in the background; when that happens, everything gets all jerky and you can't click-and-drag effectively. That slightly insulting loss screen doesn't help much.

Oh, those "invulnerable" spaceships? They're the ones with the intermittent translucent circles around them. Wait until they go away before attacking. (Don't ask me why they turn on and off. Maybe they're using that invulnerability mechanic where it has to recharge after use, only they're constantly clicking to turn it on)

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Gearboy June 8, 2009 10:09 PM

I'm as annoyed as Gobsmacked, though perhaps for a different reason.

I think there are some serious glitches in Vector Boom that do, in fact, leave some of us playing 'a different game'.

My first time through, I made it to level ten without any major problems. The only thing I found annoying was the fact that my station was positioned very close to the upper-right corner of the screen in early levels, leaving me very susceptible to attack from that region (since I had almost no warning that ships would be showing up).

At level 10 things were fine for the first major portion of the level; I survived several waves taking barely any damage. Then, suddenly, a dozen of the red shielded ships show up, along with hundreds of the little gold ones which park and fire purple lasers. Quick on the heels of those are a whole bunch of giant purple capital ships. What are you supposed to do about that?! The red ships take several shots to destroy, and are immune to magnets. Even using several 'Max Power' items in a row doesn't make an appreciable dent in the onslaught. I see someone posted a comment about the way the red ship shields work, so maybe I have to look into that more carefully.

Still, Level 10 isn't my major complaint. I went back and tried the game again, and this time found it unplayable past level 2. As soon as the blue ships show up (the ones that park themselves and fire rockets from a distance), I was doomed. They park themselves offscreen, and so far offscreen that not even a full-power blast, detonated at the very edge of the playing field, can hit them. The rockets will just keep coming in forever, whittling down my health, and there's absolutely nothing I can do to stop them. A Max Power blast might take out those faraway blue ships, but I can't count on getting one (you don't seem to get powerups for shooting rockets, just ships).

I think this really is a major programming glitch that the creators missed. I suspect that the position of my station and the position of the blue ships are different manifestations of the same problem. It's a shame, because Vector Boom would be a fun game otherwise, but this just leaves me feeling annoyed at and frustrated by it. Creators, please fix it and rerelease!

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Rather than work on a long narrative-styled walkthrough addressing the player as the Benevolent Dictator of the Glorious People's Democratic Space Tyranny, most of the hints I'd give basically boils down to staying calm and not firing rapid small explosions everywhere, since that drains the battery quickly.

Expand the blast radius a bit, and wait for the gun to recharge a bit between blasts. After upgrading the recharge rate, you'll never have to worry about running out of energy, and can aim your explosions to take out a wave of enemy ships and their shots in one burst. For the ships with bubbles around them, you just have to get rid of the smaller ones first while waiting for the bigger ones to drop their shields. Two or three blasts of any size should take them out.

As for upgrades, the turrets won't do much, as they aim for one target at a time, while one explosion can wipe out five or more. Upgrading armour can wait for at least a couple of levels, as wiping out ships and missiles at once can save some health.

For the last level, attack in order of escalating size, and remember about timing your shots to attack and blow up the missiles at the same time. It's easy to feel overwhelmed, but regulated medium explosions are more effective than rapid small ones.

Finally, it's been said before, but once you get a Max Power pick-up, feel free to launch four or so explosions that take up the whole screen. If you wait for some of the smaller ones to move within range, you could get another one and make your nukespam (so to speak) last longer!

For the glory of the Glorious People's Democratic Space Tyranny! Those rebel-invader-refugees are going down/blowing up!

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Looks like Hero Interactive has made some improvements to the game. Details found here:
http://www.herointeractive.com/blog/?p=444

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Hey guys, Gar basically hit the nail on the head so read his post if you need help.

The two big units have shields that turn on and off. You just have to time it right to hit them when shields are down. With upgraded damage you can take them down in two shots.

If enemies park themselves offscreen (aka. Gearboy), that's definitely a bug. We'll have to look into that. If I was only on level 2 I would have just restarted. Not that it's an excuse for having a bug exist, just what I would have done.

Thanks for the great feedback everyone! I have to say, I love getting feedback on JayIsGames the most! Rather than the mind numbing "Gre4t 4/5" or "sux -192871 / 5" that we get on the portals, you all give us very useful and intelligent feedback! We really appreciate that!

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AtomicSong Author Profile Page June 12, 2009 8:17 PM

Really annoying game. I have the same problem as gobsmacked. Besides the point that it is nearly impossible to get past the beginning levels, Hero interactive really let a lot of people down with only laptops to use and have no mouse. I know that not many people have that situation but I remember a few of my friends really sad about not being able to play the game. Other than that I think why me and gobsmacked are having a difficult time is probably because our gaming styles aren't really fit to this, or maybe its something else. Well from what I hear from others I guess HI did a good job on the game for others so good job......

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AtomicSong Author Profile Page June 12, 2009 8:19 PM

Oh, oops. I said Hero Interactive let "a lot" of people down then later I stated that there aren't many people.... so forget that I said a lot of people and just think of it otherwise.

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AtomicSong Author Profile Page June 12, 2009 8:27 PM

Also, as I continue to play the game in vain to find a way to be able enjoy Vector Boom I found a glitch. When I play the game it seems as though when ever I get the unlimited energy power-up it has no effect on me, it still drains the energy.

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