POD: Planetary Orbital Defense
Benjamin Colwell of Indie Flash Arcade has just released this remarkably attractive arcade Flash game that blends the casual gameplay of classic video games with a stylish (and stunning!) presentation. The result is POD: Planetary Orbital Defense, a 15-level shoot-em-up bonanza that culminates in a boss fight against an alien invasion.
One part Space Invaders and one part Missile Command, POD starts you off right away defending your cities against an onslaught of alien creatures against the backdrop of a driving, deep bass beat. Initially your defense is but a single cannon with a limited supply of energy that regenerates with time via the surrounding power plants.
Control is with a combination of keyboard and mouse. Move the mouse to aim, click to fire. Use the keyboard to select [S] and activate [D] power-ups, and to move [Z,X] and toggle [A] between tanks in later levels. All keys are configurable by the player from the main menu.
Levels appear to be based on time: Survive long enough to advance to the next level, earning bonus points in the process. Score seems to play a lesser role in this game, however, as it is all about surviving and beating the alien boss ship at the end of the game.
Analysis: Planetary Orbital Defense is a beautifully crafted game that offers a decent challenge for anyone interested in about 15-20 minutes of fun. Although a tad on the easy side, the game features tried-and-true gameplay repackaged in an engaging and compelling production. The soundtrack, by DJ Kuru (aka Matt Fay), complements the game play perfectly and never gets tiresome to listen to. The graphics in the game are simply sublime.
I especially enjoyed the 'changing of the guard' scenes with the planet rotating to switch between cannon and tank levels, and did I mention the soundtrack? Almost worth playing just for that.