Ether Cannon is a new action shooter from Luke Paakh of Pop Ethos. You control a space ship which is the last hope of... Well it doesn't really say, but it seems urgent.
It's a beautiful game, the particle effects in it are just brilliant, and the action it delivers is (mostly) smooth, polished, and pretty refreshing. The game does a great job of delivering lots of fast shoot-em-up fun without ever reaching a plateau; each time it begins to feel as if you've had the same weapon for a while, or haven't seen a new enemy type in a few levels, something new is thrown into the mix. Even in the very last stages of the game it introduces new enemy types to challenge you to change your strategy, so you can out maneuver and outwit your enemies.
Use the arrow keys to move and the mouse to aim and fire. There are 21 levels in all, most of them consisting of 6 waves each. Each wave pits you against an array of foes out to destroy your ship using a variety of tactics. During these waves enemies will occasionally drop Ether, which you will need to collect to upgrade your ship, and you are given the chance to spend your hard earned Ether between levels.
There are three upgrades to choose from:
- Engines - Upgrading your engines will improve the maneuverability of the ship, as well as the ship's overall speed.
- Shields - Upgrading your shields will increase the rate at which your shields recharge, as well as increase the total shield power. This upgrade is essential in later levels.
- Turret - Upgrading your turret will increase the damage it deals. As an added bonus the type of bullets your ship fires will also be upgraded every so often.
Analysis: With there being only 3 upgrade choices, I found that after a while I was just dumping loads of points into my turret with no real noticeable increase in power, as if I'd reached the max, but it didn't tell me. A few different options would have been nice, maybe choosing different weapon types that were already featured in the game, and focusing on one, such as the spread weapon, and further developing that. The biggest gripe I had with the game was that there were no quality settings, and being a flash game that uses loads of particle effects, this is a must. I found that in the later levels of the game with loads of enemies around it was almost impossible to aim properly due to the lag caused by all the effects. A simple quality adjustment would fix this issue.
Apart from a few minor issues this is truly a great game, and I highly recommend taking the time to play Ether Cannon.