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41st Reality

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Rating: 4.1/5 (56 votes)
Comments (15) | Views (3,417)

41streality.gifJohnBNew from Ali Maunder, creator of Kaichou and the Neon games, comes an arena shooter even casual gamers can enjoy.

41st Reality is a sort of mash-up between Asteroids and Space Invaders where you pilot a tiny craft against waves of incoming enemies (which happen to be aliens and geometric shapes). Power-ups appear from time to time to give you a hand, but otherwise its just you and your reflexes keeping you alive.

Controls are handled with a mouse/keyboard hybrid setup where the [arrow] or [WASD] keys move your ship and the mouse aims. Firing is done automatically, so all you have to do is direct the constant stream of bullets towards the enemy and avoid getting hit.

Enemies drop items that either immediately give you a new weapon (spread shot, double shot, or homing missiles) or send a power-up to your one-slot inventory. Click the left mouse button to use this stored item, with effects ranging from a localized "destroy everything around you" explosion to a turret that stays on screen and helps you out with some friendly fire.

Just like in the classic Asteroids, huge chunks of stuff comes flying at you from all directions of the screen. Blast them to break them down into smaller pieces, then take out the debris shards one by one. The Space Invaders slant sends rows of aliens marching in from the top of the screen. Put the two together and, well, good luck with that.

Analysis: The most surprising thing about 41st Reality is that it's inviting to a wide audience, not just twitch-happy arcade gamers. The low difficulty curve lets everyone have fun, but you really have to muster some sort of skill to survive in later levels. For this reason the game will come off as slow-paced, but give it a few minutes and things will pick up considerably.

I also really appreciate the retro feel the vector-based visuals convey. See the emulated CRT lines? Oh yeah, brings back fond memories of standing in front of an arcade machine with quarters lined up beneath the monitor. Good times!

A shmup for more casual gamers, 41st Reality keeps things on the simple side without foregoing too much challenge.

Play 41st Reality


Anonymous October 9, 2008 9:01 AM

Just a little note: there IS an end to it for better or worse.


Holy Crap, I got the #1 score! I'm so giddy :D. Managed to beat it all the way through without dying. The Dual Shot (powerup looks like two chevrons) is by far the best weapon.


The music is great :)

Bloatedsack October 9, 2008 6:57 PM

phew... this thing needs a pause button!

Bloatedsack October 9, 2008 7:05 PM

OK, RTFM and found it... 'P'


At high levels I lose track of my character among all the shots going around. More distinction on themain character would be helpful.


This game falls in a category I hate:
you get the good powerup and can burn through the enemies, but you make 1 mistake and die, you come back without the powerup and are so underpowered you can't kill anything, and the stack of lifes you had saved up jsut get burned away as you try to get the powerup again. I understand bein greqarded for not dieing, but ding once near the end of the game shouldn't be an instant death sentence.


I don't find this game nearly as fun as the Neon games, mainly because it's hard to keep track of where you are--everything looks so similar. I also kept getting confused by the pointer, which doesn't look like a pointer but something that you might need to shoot. Crosshairs would be much better.


I managed to get a decent amount done -- my score was 62,765,275 -- and then it just stopped. I had one enemy (one of the missile-launchers, I believe) run off the screen and not come back, and the next level just never came up.

Which was a pity, 'cause I had the homing shots, which are powered by win.


The music is good...but the game itself gets boring very quickly. The Space Invaders enemies are cute, but...Neon did the game better, as did...gah, I can't remember the name of it offhand. The game had enemies that included squares that slowly expanded to fill the screen, two varieties of 'Tholian' style enemies where you not only had to avoid them, but trails leading from them, enemies that appeared and disappeared, and 'ally' turrets labeled with the online handles of the dev's friends.


Chris - Luminara?


Um, excuse me - This is a "low difficulty curve" appealing to a "wide audience"? You might want to get your perspective checked. I am by no means a twitch gamer, but I am also not a total arcade neophyte, and really wanted to like this game, but after dying dozens of times in a few minutes, found it too fast and frustrating.

zbeeblebrox October 10, 2008 10:15 PM

Ha! It's like a perfect reproduction of those old vector based CRT arcade shooters where the monitor was always recessed way back from the screen. They even got the color cycling right! Love it!


85827654 points!

"Scores" in the menu seems to do nothing, so I have no idea of how I compared. (I hit submit..)

Pretty fun game.

DarthMeow504 June 27, 2011 7:10 AM

Very nice game. It's what I wanted from Neon but with a better control scheme (WASD movement w/ mouseaim) works much better especially for those who are used to that control scheme from countless other arena shooters and topdown shooters like Crimsonland or Robokill. That familiar and common control scheme makes picking this game up very smooth and easy for those who play other types of game that use it.

And yes, the difficulty curve really is well done. It starts very slow with only a few enemies on the screen and gradually throws more at you, and gives you short breaks between waves of new foes. If you haven't killed all of the first set of enemies by the time the new ones show up, that's your fault. It's not until a decent ways in that they start shoving more than one enemy type at you at once, and by that time you should be in the groove of things and able to hold your own. I think randbot needs to spend some more time with WASD shooters before complaining that this one is too insanely difficult.

A pair of suggestions to alleviate the "die once, die a dozen times" problem:

One, the short invulnerability after death simply isn't enough because homing enemies will actually surround and occupy your spot while you're respawning and it's very difficult to get clear. I'd say give the player an automatic "star bomb" effect on respawn to give just a touch of clear space to operate in at respawn. That should help avoid the problem of dying several times in only a few seconds and give a breathing space of a few seconds to recover.

Additionally, I'd give the player a second slot to store a weapons powerup, as a backup. If you're good enough to collect a second gun while still using the first one, why not allow it to be used? Allowing only one of these would keep a player from just racking them up and never being knocked down to the default weapon, but it would allow them to earn a save. This would also help avoid a single death being spun unfairly into a string of them.

Finally, this really needs a "vector" tag for it's graphical style which is pure old school vector graphics akin to those used in classics like Tempest and Asteroids.


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