Super Destronaut: Land Wars review for PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS4
Also on: PS Vita, PC, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Petite Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

I?m not sure why Ratalaika and Petite Games felt that Super Destronaut DX needed a sequel. It was a forgettable Space Invaders clone. And it?s not like there was any reason it needed to be brought back to life as a FPS, which is what we have in Super Destronaut: Land Wars. Now that it?s here, though, I?m really glad it exists.

It?s not a particularly nuanced game: you run around a fairly small environment, blasting 3D versions of the aliens that populated Super Destronaut DX. There?s an Arcade Mode (which features five different sub-modes) and a Challenge Mode (which features 30 different challenges), but really, they?re basically exactly the same. Some challenges ask you to get a certain number of coins, others ask you to kill a certain number of aliens, still others ask that you get a certain multiplier — but really, if you?ve played one level, you?ve played them all.

I think I enjoy Super Destronaut: Land Wars precisely because of this lack of nuance. Sometimes it?s fun to just run around shooting aliens in a neon world as electronic beats pump in the background, and that?s exactly what this game offers – no more, no less.

I?m not even going to pretend that it?s perfect, though, because it?s plainly obvious all the ways in which this game could be improved. Like the last Super Destronaut game, this one only features local high scores rather than online leaderboards — a big oversight, considering the whole game is built around high scores. Further, the challenge levels are all time-based challenges, except a) there?s no visible timer when you?re playing, and b) the game is very skimpy with the enemies, which makes it substantially harder to achieve what the game is asking you, since you can mow down enemies with ease and find yourself waiting around for more to show up as the seconds tick away on the invisible clock.

My biggest complaint about Super Destronaut: Land Wars, though, is also the one that tells me I like the game: I really, really wish there was a lot more of it. What?s here is fantastic (even if a little same-y), and it makes me wish I could play a proper, full-length game like this, rather than just a bunch of challenges that can be run through (complete with Platinum) in well under an hour. I?m not asking for some thirty-plus hour epic or anything, but a couple of hours set in a world like this with music and visuals like this would be most welcome. As it stands, I?m not going to say this one is a must-play, but it?s solid enough that if Ratalaika and Petite want to continue on with another sequel in this series, I certainly wouldn?t complain.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Super Destronaut: Land Wars PS4/Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B