Published on July 26th, 2013 | by Jamie843032
Summary: A highly accessible retro arcade space shooter with a modern twist. A must buy for your collection. No quarters!
So you return home after a long day at work ( ,or school ) to find ‘they’ have responded to our transmission and now it’s The End of The World.
What to do? Well developer Paul ‘Punch Quest’ Pridham aka madgarden suggests you, “SIT BACK / SMOKE A FEW / ALIENS”.
Take on the role of Captain Chillaxian and pew your way through thousands of waves of laid-back extra terrestrials.
“IT’LL ALL BE OVER SOON”, Adds Pridham.
Inspired by Namco’s Galaxian this modern classic arcade space shooter is the result of a OneGameAMonth.com challenge and online poll on Paul’s website, madgarden.net
Upon launch you are greeted with a retro looking title screen. Which would not look out of place in a cabinet down your local amusements. Should you be lucky enough to still have one.
Complete with Top Scores, flashy text and a scrolling, starry iridescent backdrop.
First impressions made me wish I had an iPad, with an iCade unit to sit it in ,and play it on.
From here you can press play to start the game or tap plus or minus icons to continue from waves previously passed. These are stored in intervals of ten, although your score is reset every time you begin a new game.
There is Game Center integration. So you can also view the leaderboards and your achievements via a trophy icon. Finally, there is an asterisk like symbol that brings up the options menu when pressed. This consists of toggles for Sound FX, Chillaxian Beat, Aim Line and 1979 mode. The latter enables scan lines and a reminiscently comforting buzzing sound.
The beginning of The End.
“SIT BACK / SMOKE A FEW / ALIENS”.
The game starts nice and slow. With you steadily curving your shots from your spaceship, resemblant of an Enterprise, into the path of an oncoming floating cluster of living breathing invaders.
However they do get progressively more restless and unsettled making you at least fidget a little from your impression in the sofa. Watch the stragglers too! While they may appear to be coming in for a hug, they do bite and will shoot you!
Some of the aliens have shields which will need taking down before you can put them back to sleep.
With auto fire the controls could not be simpler. All you have do is move left and right to outmanoeuvre projectiles and aim at the enemy. This is done by touching the left, or right of the screen accordingly. They are responsive and feel precise, yet smooth with no jittering, as you glide your ship along the bottom of the screen.
It plays a lot like it’s muse but with a more relaxed approach and some unique elements. So similarities aside, Chillaxian is very much it’s own creation.
Every ten waves, there are different boss fights. It did seem more frequent though. I find it amusing that every time you hit them they appear to become more agitated before raining down mini bullet hell on you. Forcing you to dodge death and time your counterattack.
You will also pass and shoot through debris fields full of asteroids and space junk, where you may also have the opportunity to rescue a spacepod. If successful, these will attach themselves to your ship, gaining you a bit of extra firepower on the side. While this can also make you an easier target, it does also give you a second chance. Should your spacepod take a hit.
Your score is amounted on the top left hand side of the screen. From what I can gather, it’s one point per kill and extra bonus points for destroying bosses.
You have 3 lives which are displayed as icons of your spacecraft on the bottom left. Every so many waves you are presented awards, shown on your lower right. Finally, a pause menu button is present top right. Supplying the player with the same options as mentioned earlier along with a ‘Quit to title’ button.
Graphically the game is a seamless blend of old school 80′s pixel art and modern glowing shaders. The effect of getting blown up looks that awesome. At worst you will let out a small sigh when losing a life, or even the game.
The synthesised soundtrack and sound FX are trance-like.
Mix both the above with the not too demanding gameplay and you get one of the most casual, yet stimulating arcade space shooters ever to have graced an iOS mobile device.
I first got the chance to play Chillaxian on my Windows Vista laptop. Since playing the iOS version on my iPhone, there have been a few surprises along the way and with it’s first update already being submitted, more are bound.
Follow @madgarden on twitter for more retro goodness and bookmark his website to keep up to date with the latest shenanigans!
Weighing in at a gravity defying 0.3 megabytes. You can grab your slice of 8-bit heaven for around eight quarters, or 15 ten pence pieces in the App Store now.