Attack of the Meeplings
If "retro" to you means huge chunky pixels, bleeping and blerping sounds and gameplay that doesn't lead you by the hand, Joshua Smyth of Tiny Frog Software has just the game for you: Attack of the Meeplings. And if you think this Java-based shooter is going to explain what a Meepling is, you're sadly mistaken.
The game opens with a brief rundown of the controls: [arrow] keys move, [Z] shoots and [space] drops a bomb. The [A] key also acts as autofire, which sounds like a typical shooter to me, and that's exactly what it is.
Comprised of only three levels, the game eternally loops, getting slightly harder and faster with each go round. The pick-ups dropped by each destroyed enemy do nothing to increase your firepower or ability to maneuver brilliant, complex bullet patterns with ease. Each enemy destroyed is worth a mere 1 point. Collect one pick-up and their destruction grants you two points. Collect a hundred and, well, you get the idea. As a result the game rewards you with a higher score the longer you play, and along with that, the ability to gain a higher score with ease.
Analysis: The game is glorious, retro-styled fun from top to bottom, including every pixel and the tough but fair gameplay; however, the real stand out is the music. Usually I find myself playing with the sound muted, but with this game I couldn't play without the music. It is an important part of the experience. Everything meshes well; the bullets' pew, the destructive kssh, the pick-up pwing all go hand-in-hand together to create a nicely layered experience.
The sounds, by the way, were apparently created with this nifty little device called SFXR by DrPetter, (a 50kb download) and is well worth having a play around with especially for the game developers out there.
In short, Attack of the Meeplings is an excellent and enjoyable throwback to the days of old where gaming was a little bit tougher, but was, for some inexplicable reason, a whole heap of enjoyable. Play, and attempt to survive, the attack of the Meeplings.