Trippin’ Alien is a remake of the classic asteroid dodging game where you must use the ships thrust to control your ship. It is one of the oldest game ideas which has simple yet addictive gameplay.
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The aim of the game is to avoid the asteroids by navigating your ship around them by using the thrust which will lift your ship and letting gravity do its work to fall. The asteroids scroll horizontally from right to left on the screen and you simply move your ship up or down to avoid them. It is a simple game, but the thrust system requires fairly good skills as keeping your finger on the thrust button too long will increase the rising speed of your ship usually resulting in death as you collide with said asteroids. The same goes for falling, fall for too long and your ship will gain momentum which requires more thrust to counteract.
Trippin’ Alien brings the genre a little more up to date with some new game modes of which there are four to choose from. Survival is the original game mode where you can also collect power ups to help or hinder your progress, Time Attack gives you a 60 second time limit with unlimited deaths to score as much as possible, Practice mode removes the asteroids and lets you get used to the controls and finally Retro mode turns back the clock to 1979 with retro style graphics. The survival and retro modes are the two you will play the most, practice is a nice addition as well.
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The Survival and Time Attack modes have four collectable power ups which last for a short period of time. The Multiply power up doubles your score, Ghost makes your craft invincible and can fly through asteroids but you cant collect any power ups, Invert will invert your controls which is very weird to play and finally Colourblind makes all power ups the same colour so you do not know what you will get. The power ups work well but I would have liked to have seen a few more that hinder your progress, slowing the thrust power of the ship as an example.
Graphics are keeping with its retro theme and while they are nothing amazing, everything runs smooth and are easy to identify, you can also change the colour of your ship if you want to. The retro mode has graphics to match the theme with chunky green sprites which look the part, I actually preferred playing the retro theme to the standard theme. There are two music tracks for the original and retro themes, the original is OK, the retro track is a little out of place as it is more modern sounding than the game but it is a nice tune.
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The are a few difficulty levels to choose from which increase the speed of the oncoming asteroids, it provides a decent challenge but after some practice you can master the hardest challenge and it ultimately ends up being a case of getting bored or beating the high score before you die. Highscore tables are available for all the game modes, I would have liked to have seen a name entry option instead of automatically entering the gamertag as the name as it would have allowed multiple players to set scores. One other small thing I would have liked would be to see the highest score in the game so you know when you have beat it.
Trippin’ Alien does exactly what it set out to do and does it fairly well. I enjoyed playing the game but I did feel that the difficulty could have been made a little harder to master which does detract from the overall experience. The game costs 80 :MSPoints: which is the right price and well worth checking out if you like the retro game genre and want a good occasional time waster when you have a few spare minutes.
More information on Trippin’ Alien as well as the trial and full versions of the game can be found on the Marketplace.0