Spacejacked review for PS Vita, PS4, PC

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Rotten Mage
Developer: Rotten Mage
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

I’ve got to hand it to Spacejacked: it took a genre that I thought I knew (tower defense) and turned it into something that seemed new and fresh enough to get me interested.

It does so by adding in some frenetic action that wouldn’t seem out of place in an arcade game — or, at the very least, a modern arcade-influenced game like Super Crate Box. Spacejacked is set on a spaceship that you’re defending from alien invaders, and it’s up to your character to set up guns in every room defending the cores. The arcade influence comes in from the fact that your character (Dave, for the record) is running around the room, upgrading the guns, collecting metal (which is necessary for upgrading your weapons and repairing each room’s core), and shooting at the aliens yourself.

That may not sound like a huge tweak to the formula, but in practice, it makes everything feel much more immediate. Sure, the action in your usual tower defense games can get a little heated at times, but it still feels like it’s all happening at a remove because of the fact you’re watching the action unfold on a map. By putting your character right in the middle of the action, it all feels a little more immediate.

(And that’s without even factoring in that Dave can’t jump. Instead, he switches gravity, so that he simply flips down to the other side of the platform. It feels kind of awkward at first, but it doesn’t take long before it, too, seems like a fun change of pace from the usual.)

I don’t want to overpromise what Spacejacked has in store. Ultimately, it’s kind of a short game (around 20 levels or so, and it can be beaten in under 3 hours) that doesn’t do anything that revolutionary. But even so, it offers a nice tweak on the tower defense formula that will get your blood pumping. If you’re a fan of tower defense games, what more do you need?

Rotten Mage provided us with a Spacejacked PS4/Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B