You know, somewhere deep in the blackness of infinite space, there have to be all sorts of life forms bouncing around the void. Space clowns, for example, could exist here, living off of stray particles or digesting dark matter itself. With these life forms comes the inevitable life forms that feed off of them. In the case of Space Parasite, an arcade/action game by Kale Kramlack and Andy Wolff, you are that life form, infecting every piece of space life that floats your way!
You can use either the [arrow] keys or the mouse to move, but the former is far more accurate and is recommended over mouse control. All you have to do is bounce around your tiny corner of space, trying to run into any of the creatures that float by. When you do, you infect them, inhabiting their body until you tap any button on the keyboard. Blasting out of the foes and killing them earns you points (and crystals, which are worth more points), and if you chain together kills you'll earn mega tons of points, which is better than non-mega amounts.
The gameplay itself is pretty simple, but the customization and upgrades are what will make you come back for more. Earning points levels you up, and with each level you'll get a point you can spend to increase any of six attributes: time, speed, chain, force, enemy, and prize. While most games let you customize the protagonist and leave it at that, in Space Parasite, you can spend points to change the game itself, adding new enemies to the mix and making them drop additional gems when they die. Unlocking new enemies is an interesting mechanic as well as an attribute you'll be dying to max out as soon as possible. New enemies bring new abilities, and who doesn't want space foes that explode when you inhabit their bodies?!
Analysis: At first, Space Parasite will seem like a lot of boring and random clicking/button mashing. Until you see the deeper mechanics behind those chunky pixels. At its core rests a comfy little combo system that, when mastered, unlocks the potential of the rest of the game. It's not just randomly flying around the screen and tapping buttons. It's slowly, strategically moving yourself from one space creature to another, increasing that chain multiplier with each careful move.
Another big part of Space Parasite is the upgrades system. Since your points can affect the whole game, you'll often want to upgrade attributes that have nothing to do with the parasite itself. Upgrading the time limit for each round is much more useful at the beginning than increasing your speed, and adding new enemies is more fun than slowing the chain meter's crawl to nothingness.
It's repetitive at times, seeing as how you essentially replay the same small arena over and over again, but something about Space Parasite makes you want to come back for more. Keep playing, keep earning points, upgrade your attributes, fiddle with the enemies and unlock new power-ups. It's all there, wrapped in a lovely audio/visual package and waiting for you to take control!