Sneak Preview of Earth Day
As reported a few days ago on Pocket Gamer, esoftinteractive is about to release a new game called Earth Day. And as it just so happens, I was able to get my hands on a copy of the game a few days early.
Read on for my mini-review...
Earth Day is a classic arcade-style game and the concept behind it is very simple. Your job is defend the Earth from the hordes of enemies that are attacking it. The Earth sits in the middle of the screen and you control a gun that circles the Earth's perimeter and automatically fires every so often. If one of the enemies slips past, the Earth is invaded and your game is over. Because of this small margin of error, your game can be very short (I'm talking, one minute short) or somewhat longer. I average somewhere in the three minute range but was once able to last an astounding ten minutes (you won't understand what a feat this is until you've played the game yourself). This obviously makes Earth Day perfect for the tiny free moments that most of us are lucky enough to have periodically in the midst of our busy lives.
The longer you endure, the stronger your enemies become. Thus, while one shot might be enough to destroy an attacker initially, eventually that same task will require two shots, and so on. They will also become more numerous over time.
Luckily, every now and then a satellite will fly by and if you hit it you'll pick up a power up, which might freeze the screen for a few seconds, give you a part of the BFL (once you have enough you'll get a super laser for a little while), healthpack (I'm still not sure what these due), smartbombs that clear the whole screen of enemies, or the most valued power up of all: the weapon point. Let me explain...
When you start each game you get three weapon points to distribute among five different areas: rotation speed, rate of fire, force field, bullet strength, and clones (clones add another turret to your gun). And every time you get a weapon point you can use it towards any of these five areas. Here's a picture of the screen where you do this:
This game is short and intense. The idea behind it is simple. Like other esoftinteractive games, the music and graphics are good and the game has an overall professional look and feel. But more importantly, this game is addictive...I'm talking really addictive. It took me a few games to get the hang of Earth Day, but since I did I've been hooked. I find myself playing a few games, setting it down, getting up from my chair and walking away, only to return a few seconds later, curse at myself, and pick it right back up and keep playing! Highly recommended!