Review code graciously provided by Drageus Games. This will have no bearing on my review, opinion or recommendation. Rest assured, integrity is what Games With Toasty is all about.
The humble Shoot Em’ Up (or Shmups as it is more commonly known as) is a genre that was prominent during the 80’s to early 2000’s in terms of popularity – wowing audiences with vivid displays of side scrolling destruction. Games like Raiden and R-Type paved the way for its astronomic rise. Some would say the genre has since died, however such statements would be ignorant as the genre gets new entries every year, and the diehard crowd laps them up like a baby on a teet. Bridge Strike from Drageus Games is the latest in this venerable series – but how does it hold up?
Well, mostly badly. Things rubbed me the wrong way fairly quickly once the poorly localised “Engrish” started to flood my screen. It is doubly disappointing when you consider the amount of text the game actually contains – which is minimal. I had hoped they would have at least proofread this smattering of language, however it was not to be. The story in Bridge Strike is akin to a beardless Wizard – consistently incognito to the point it may not even exist. You are a fighter jet, and you must destroy bridges to stop tanks from invading your homeland. That’s it. Do this for 40 missions and you’re done. Quick and easy.
Of course we aren’t here for the gosh darn story though. No, we are here for the high-speed, adrenaline pumping action of yore. It’s a crying shame then that this is no ‘edge of your seat’, bullet riddled ride through the rampaging hordes’. Instead we are met with a slow, ponderous series of encounters. These encounters also consist of an incredibly limited number, and variety, of enemies. You will casually float side to side, effortlessly destroying everything in your path from start to finish. Enemies rarely attack or do much of anything, so actually dying was so rare, that I spent the vast majority of the game thinking such a thing was impossible. Then you slowly begin to realise there are no bosses, and you begin to question your sanity. There is no skill test, no escalation, no excitement. It is just humdrum, mindless, dreary filler.
Now, you can make things significantly more interesting by using the Speed Boost. This allows you to move at a slightly faster speed. This minor increase makes flying more exciting, combat more engaging and dying a faint reality. Honestly, this should have been your default speed, with an even greater speed boost option. Now when I say ‘significantly more interesting’, don’t mistake this for actually approaching, or even getting anywhere near, being legitimately interesting. It mostly lets you get the end faster, which is honestly the greatest praise I can give the gameplay.
Shooting baddies is not all you have to do to succeed. Bridge Strike forces you to slow down every few seconds and refuel at aircraft carriers. Of course, this kills any momentum the game may have mustered. Heck, these refuelling stations are practically everywhere, so you will never be in a situation where you think you might run out. They could have removed the whole system, and the game would have been basically no different.
Honestly, what makes all of this so disappointing, is that Bridge Strike is actually quite the looker. The art style is your typical pixel art that most indie titles go for nowadays, however the use of colour, the subtle special effects and the incredibly chunky, detailed and animated HUD gives Bridge Strike a unique flare that is unfortunately wasted on Bridge Strike. Music wasn’t really given the same love and care the graphics received however. Instead you are given this background, repetitive drivel that does nothing to complement whatever action Bridge Strike pretends to have.
Bridge Strike is a short game that feels significantly longer than it actually is. The lack of escalation, enemies, speed and difficulty combine to make an experience you will play once, and never pickup again. I cannot recommend this game to anyone who is looking for any sort of engagement with the games they play, which I can safely assume is everyone who has ever lived – ever. As a result, save your pennies.
Did you make the mistake of purchasing Bridge Strike? Do you disagree with my thoughts? Let know in the comment section below!
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