In the year 2300, two huge meteorites shattered near Dextera's atmosphere, causing deadly debris to shower and potentially destroy the whole planet within hours.
To begin, enter any name and click "Play". All subsequent actions are keyboard controlled. Press the [enter] key to start a new game.
The following five ships are available. You can switch between them at any time.
- Crash Man Ship: Fires bombs that cling onto meteors and explode
- Second Ship: A short range but large explosion
- Boring Ship: Shoots a bullet straight ahead
- Laser Ship: Typical shmup laser gun, straight out of Gradius
- Gravity Ship: Hit a meteor with this to capture it. Fire again to launch the meteor!
Your attacks become more effective as you destroy meteorites and fill up the three level power meter in the upper left corner of the screen. Oddly, the power meter is universal; if you completely level up the Bomb Ship, for instance, the Laser Ship will also be at maX power, even if you haven't used it before. This makes the game easier, but having to level up each ship individually could have added a welcome layer of strategy. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to recover damaged ships, so if your favorite weapon is destroyed you are out of luck.
Graphically, Meteor Busters truly shines. The sprites look better than those in most commercial games and, surprisingly, they rarely get lost on the screen despite the grayscale palette. Everything looks crisp and professional, from the superb parallax scrolling to the slight shaking of the window and satisfying spray of debris during an explosion.
Now for some complaints. The game begins with an unskippable animation that feels like it takes about ten years to complete. In reality you have to wait less than a minute before taking control, but it can be painful. There also seems to be an issue with the depth of explosions and some ships' attacks; they often obscure other meteors, meaning that you might not be sure if an area is safe to fly through before it's too late.
If you're already a fan of shmups or retro pixels, you'll probably appreciate Meteor Busters. The graphics are lovely and extremely polished and the action is fun while it lasts, though slower than hardcore manic shooter fans might like. It's clear that Dot-Invasion is a talented and dedicated group and, while I wish Meteor Busters had been a bit more ambitious, I'm looking forward to their next project. Click.
By popular demand: Now with bigger screen! Click.
Take a look at a demo of one of their upcoming projects, Forgotten Myths.