Every big game developer nowadays is going for realistic graphics and a deep story, but that doesn’t mean that the old pixelated arcade style is gone. WARP-TEK is a retro style horizontal space shooter being developed by Alex Horatio, a solo game developer from the UK. The man certainly has experience with similar games. He has successfully published numerous others on Steam, such as Mass O’Kyzt and Mushroom: The Ruckus. Now the latest one in the line up, WARP-TEK.
In WARP-TEK you take the role of an intergalactic space pilot who’s gone through the unspeakable tragedy of having his dog stolen by a group of anti-social and almost certainly evil aliens (I mean, have you ever met anyone that steals dogs and isn’t evil). Now you must go on a rescue mission to save your beloved four-legged companion. By rescue mission I of course mean a John Wick-style murder spree against the dog-napping extraterrestrials, during which you warp through the galaxy
As mentioned above, WARP-TEK is a horizontal shoot ‘em up. You are constantly moving right, navigating through a bullet-hell of enemies and projectiles. They’re not the only ones that can use guns though. You have one of your own, and your fires faster, also it doesn’t stop. As you kill the alien ships they’ll occasionally drop one of two things. One is points that allow you to fire a special attack that deals a lot of damage. The others are small glowing squares which you can take to fill up your warp meter with energy.
That meter is quite important, as it’s what allows you to progress through the game. If you have at least a little bit of it filled, you can start warping through space, draining your energy in the process. This makes all enemies around you disappear and the colours surrounding you change. Also, while you are warping you’ll notice a bar at the bottom of your screen which shows how far you’ve progressed and how much is left to your goal. But don’t think those nasty extraterrestrials will just stand around and watch as you get closer to saving your dog.
Occasionally, while you are warping you will be suddenly stopped and approached by a large boss ship. There are a few different variants you can encounter, but all have the same thing in common, they don’t play around. If you are able to defeat one of these bullet-hell ships you’ll be rewarded with an upgrade for your ship, which you will most certainly need because the enemies start getting harder after each boss. This goes on until you reach the end.
What’s important for a game is for it to be fun. Being fun doesn’t necessarily mean being complex or having a deep story. WARP-TEK proves that statement. It has simple mechanics, a pixelated minimalist style and a ridiculous story, but I still had a blast playing it. The only problem the game has is that it doesn’t have much replayability, but you still might need multiple attempts to win, so it’ll provide at least a couple of hours of fun. If you are interested in the game, you can check it out here.