Starship Patrol Bits


Summary

Description: A fun tower defense variant on the often-ignored DSiWare Store.

Conveniences: Falling health powerups are spawned on the top screen, giving the player plenty of time to spot them and get ready to grab ’em as they descend.

Annoyances: Occasionally an entirely new enemy type will be inserted into the list of oncoming waves, largely invalidating all the weapons that were set up to deal with the previous enemies.

Standouts: A graph paper aesthetic captures the typical starship doodles that often seemed to materialize during math class.

Bits

  • The top screen shows a decent amount of enemy waves that the player must repel, helping to formulate both short and long term strategies.
  • Each wave descends in a different pattern similar to the enemy groupings in Galaga. These paths are previewed with a series of dots that allow the player to pick the best positions for his weapons.
  • Some of the artillery possess adjustable cones-of-vision. This lets the player dynamically tilt them in order to cover as many enemies as possible (an added interaction-bonus in the largely passive tower defense genre).
  • Grayed-out enemies represent stealth units that suffer area-of-effect damage but can only be targeted directly by specific weapons.
  • Every stage ends with a boss, a special enemy with a large health bar. Unlike the other units, bosses don’t simply sweep through the level and leave if they’re not destroyed. Instead, they continuously circle around the two screens until defeated, pausing briefly at the top screen to give the player some time to re-arm his arsenal.
  • Each node on the world-map shows how many enemies have escaped from the stage, facilitating a completionist urge to get a “Perfect” in each level.
  • Randomly occurring asteroids fields and solar flares help add variety to the levels.

Extras

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  1. #1 by Lukas Trem on October 23, 2011 - 1:30 pm

    Loved Q-Games’ PixelJunk Monsters tower defense games, so I might need to check this one out.

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