Titan Attacks – Review

Title   Titan Attacks!
Developer  Puppy Games
Publisher  Curve Studios
Platform  PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Genre  2D Space Shooter
Release Date  May 6, 2014
Official Site  http://www.puppygames.net/titan-attacks/

Despite its legendary status, I’ve never rated Space Invaders. I played it some thirty years ago in a holiday/concentration camp in Camber fucking Sands and because it was next to Galaxians, even in that primitive era it already looked dated. It’s also the least exciting game ever made. However, you have to respect its part in the early evolution of arcade games, and every once in a while an indie developer will return to its well for inspiration. Titan Attacks first emerged on Steam and is now available on PSN as a cross-buy title. It wears its Space Invaders influences clearly on its sleeve and comes out of the gate with literally no story or explanation. Even the most primitive of arcade shooters at least gives you some exposition about facing off against the Bydo Empire or whoever, but Titan Attacks eschews all that and gets straight to the action. Not that plot matters as, typically, some aliens want to fuck up the Earth and, in time-honoured fashion, we’re sending a single turret up to deal with them.

The action starts on Earth before moving to the moon, Mars, Saturn and eventually Saturn’s moon Titan across its 100 stages. Each one of these stages sticks to the classic template. You’re at the bottom of the screen, moving on a horizontal axis as rows of alien ships descend and randomly fire at you. However, as expected, there are a couple of twists that attempt to keep the game relevant. The invaders come in a few forms: there are your basic Space Invaders type, as well as various bouncers, swoopers and other simple variations, and every twenty stages you’ll also face a mothership boss. The variation is welcome but the game could certainly do more, especially over this many stages. There’s a lot of repetition to deal with.

Destroying enemies gives you points and cash, and the money can be used to upgrade your tank with extra firepower or shields. The game’s difficulty parallels your upgrade path though, so you’ll never be too much of a badass, but powering up is always important in a shooter and it’s an extra dimension for the game. Your upgrades focus on the number of bullets you can shoot at any time, and their power. However, the benefits of some of the upgrades are rather unclear at first, and the game’s meagre help screen does nothing to shine any light on them.

The game has a cartoony, neo-retro, clean look (although the fake scanlines – a trend ‘retro’ styled gaming needs to get the fuck away from – make the PS4 version a little less nice looking than its Vita counterpart) and a bombastic, but not particularly good, soundtrack. After that though, this is business as usual. Admittedly, the Space Invaders format doesn’t give much room to move, but I was a fan of the score-comboing gameplay of Space Invaders Extreme and the brilliantly sleek Space Invaders: Infinity Gene, both of which proved that even this old xenomorph can be taught some new tricks.

Instead, Titan Attacks gives up all its cards right away. It’s initially good fun and is very playable, both on the Vita and PS4, but the appeal is short lived and the game quickly loses its flavour. As the challenge increases, things become a little more enjoyable, but it sticks too close to the original blueprint to warrant either your attention or money. The cross-buy aspect adds value if you’ve got a couple of Sony consoles to run it on, and die hard fans of Space Invaders may enjoy it for longer than I did, but for the price it’s all just a tad too thin and shallow to warrant paying just shy of a tenner. For three quid or something, this would be a pleasant way to kill an hour or two on a lazy Sunday, but for any more than that you may be left feeling like it wasn’t worth the cash, so you’re probably best off waiting for its inevitable inclusion in the next PSN sale. And then ignoring the fuck out of it and buying OlliOlli, TxK and Surge Deluxe instead.

  • Competent single-screen shooter action
  • Gets better as it gets more challenging
  • Easy Trophies if that's your bag
  • Doesn't really do anything wrong
  • Shallow gameplay
  • Is all a bit Adobe Flash
  • Mediocre presentation
  • Less good than recent entries in the official Space Invaders series
  • Doesn't really do anything good
  • No real value for money

Titan Attacks is another pick up and play shooter for PSN but is outclassed by all its contemporaries, as well as recent entries into the official Space Invaders series. With cheaper, superior options out there, Titan Attacks isn't really worth your attention but if you absolutely love Space Invaders clones, this is very playable.

Our review policy

Last five articles by Richie


There are no comments, yet.

Why don’t you be the first? Come on, you know you want to!

Leave a Comment