Duologue is a twin stick shooter with some twists, the enemies can only be destroyed by bullets of a opposite colour, i.e. Red bullets destroy Green enemies, Green bullets destroy Red enemies. The second twist is your tank has a light which shines the opposite colour to your bullets, Red bullets with Green light and vice versa, which when shined against opposite colour enemies have effects on them. This opposing colour bullet principle was recently used in another Indie Game, AtomHex, to great effect, lets see how Duologue fares.
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Presentation is done well and everything is easy to find. The graphics suit the game well and have a cartoon style, each sprite is drawn well and clear to identify. There are a few music tracks in the game and the music sounds good and are varied. The sound effects are mostly very good apart from one in particular, a VERY annoying missile noise that is high pitched and had me reaching for the volume when several appeared on screen at once.
The game is set on the planet Ur where you control a tank in a battle against the oppressive regime of Moloch who is the evil leader of aliens. No reference is actually made in the game, it is only in the title description on Marketplace, you wont find any more references until you complete the Campaign. The Campaign mode features over 60 levels which are split into stages usually with a certain type of enemy and boss. The campaign mode will take over 90 minutes to complete, I actually lost track of time doing this so I think it could be closer to two hours.
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Two additional modes are included in the game. Infinite Mode is a challenge where you have an infinite supply of lives but you must try to complete the campaign losing as few lives as possible. The second mode is a Survival mode which sees you fight an endless assault of aliens as you progress through the stages. All three game modes can be played in single player or cooperatively with up to three additional local players.
There are 23 types of enemies which are introduced as you play the Campaign. The starting enemies are easy prey, they move slow and do not fire back, other enemies are not so easy and for example can shoot back or are fast and chase after you, there is a lot of variety and each enemy have their own characteristics. There are seven bosses in total and they are fun to take on, some can even change colour to add a bit more strategy to killing them.
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As mentioned, the enemies come in two varying colours on each stage and can only be killed by shooting them with the opposing colour. To help defend yourself you have a light which shines the opposite colour to your bullets which you can use to slow or repel enemies of the opposing colour. The addition of the light is a great idea as it allows some nice strategies when dealing with a room full of enemies, you can shoot one colour while keeping the other at bay.
Despite being a twin stick shooter, Duologue has a slower paced feel to what you would expect from this genre. The main reason is that very few enemies actually shoot back, this means you are not constantly dodging bullets and allows you to relax a bit and play at your own pace in most cases. I think it is this what really made me enjoy the game as it was a change from the hectic shooters I have been playing over the past month.
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The Campaign is lengthy and will take a few attempts to beat, especially with the later trickier levels. Multiplayer games always add a bit of lifespan to a game so with up to four players locally this should keep you busy for some time if you have enough controllers. One thing I would have liked to have seen is the inclusion of a leaderboard for keeping track of players scores, but as some compensation there are ten awards to unlock which range from completing the campaign, killing all enemy types and the funny ‘Seriously’ which you must get 39516 kills! 🙂
Duologue costs 240 :MSPoints: which I think is the right price for a game of this quality and its content. If you are new to twin stick shooters or are not very good at them I think this game would be a great starting point as it is a bit more relaxed than others in this genre. For more advanced players of this genre it makes a great alternative to the hectic shoot everything in sight shooters and offers a bit more thought and strategy to play. Either way, everyone should enjoy the game and it gets a thumbs up from me.
You can find out more about the game and download the trial or purchase the full version here.0