Titan Attacks! review for PS Vita, PS4, PS3

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS3, PS4, PC
Publisher: Curve Studios
Developer: Puppygames
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards

Titan Attacks! is not a game that tries to hide its influences. Basically, it’s equal parts Space Invaders and Galaga.

And that’s it, really. There are upgrades and powerups and whatnot that may or may not have been around in the early ’80s, but at the end of the day, the gameplay in Titan Attacks! will be familiar to virtually everyone under the age of…50? 60? After all, Space Invaders and Galaga are two of the most widely-played, influential games ever, and it’s hard to imagine there’s anyone out there with even a passing familiarity of gaming that’s not acquainted with how those two games work. Aliens move sideways across the screen, getting closer and closer to the bottom, while you — as a tank — shoot them down. Like I said, it’s something everyone is familiar with, and if you’re not…I just have so many questions as to how you came to be reading this review.

Titan Attacks 2

Because Titan Attacks! is so heavily indebted to those two games, I’m not really sure what there is to say about it. When you’re basically directly copying one of the archetypal ways of gaming, there’s not a whole lot you can do wrong. The aforementioned powerups add a little bit of variety, but they still don’t fundamentally change what you’re doing. As you’d expect (seeing as there have been all kinds of advances over the last thirty years), it looks a whole lot nicer, with vibrant neons combining with moody darker colours to give it a retro sci-fi feel. Titan Attacks! also sounds like a combination of old and new, with old school “pew pew” laser noises sitting alongside distinctly more modern downtempo electronic music.

Obviously, that’s about the only thing new going on in Titan Attacks! By any standard, it’s the very definition of an old thing getting a new coat of paint, so if you’re going into it hoping for something new and fresh, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Titan Attacks 1

However, if you go in simply expecting a nicer-looking take on an old classic, you should be a little happier with what you get out of it. Titan Attacks! won’t surprise you (unless, again, you’ve somehow come to this review without ever having played Space Invaders or Galaga), but it is a good reminder that sometimes those old games knew exactly how to make a virtue of forced simplicity. It’s basic, but it’s also super-addictive, so if you don’t mind a walk back in time, it might be worth checking out.

Grade: B