Ray-Hound is a new downloadable game for Windows from Hikoza Ohkubo over at Hikware software. Like his previous game, Warning Forever, Ray-Hound is a simple, well executed shmup with a creative twist that sets it apart from other indie or commercial releases. Of course, also like Warning Forever, Ray-Hound is a tiny download and absolutely free.
Instead of blasting away at the turrets that make up each stage, in Ray-Hound you turn their own attacks against them. Move your ship with the mouse and capture lasers by clicking the left button; any lasers caught in the field that surrounds your ship will begin to orbit and follow you. Release the left mouse button to fling them back at the turrets. You can also perform a boost by moving the mouse rapidly in any direction. Boost into lasers to reflect them off the front of your ship. With a little practice boosting becomes extremely useful, particularly against small groups of turrets. Right click to pause the game and adjust the boost sensitivity, and press F11 to toggle full screen mode.
When the timer in the upper right corner of the screen reaches zero, your game is over. Clearing each stage of turrets (see the bottom left corner to keep track of how many remain) will add to your time, but taking a hit from a laser will subtract 10 seconds.
Ray-Hound's fluid graphics and action are fairly intuitive, although its not until after the first dozen levels that the game really picks up and becomes gloriously hectic. With no audio, no high score ranking and only two of the four main menu options available, it is clear that Ray-Hound is not complete. Still, this early build is rock solid and a great time, particular for jaded old shooter fans dying for something fresh. Enjoy!
Cheers to Lavkian for being on the mark with suggesting this one as the review was being written. =)