Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
I was planning on writing this review in just sixty words, but sixty seemed like fifty eight too many and yet still no where near enough to sing Sixty Second Shooter Primes praises. The two I would have chosen were “ Buy it” and if I was going for three words I would have added “now” at the end. Six words would have probably ended with “you crazy fool” Hopefully you get where I’m going with this.
It’s first incarnation- sans the Prime, was released back in 2011 on the Chrome Web Store and it’s still available there for free with adverts, or without for a small price. It’s still a solid browser based game, but much like Optimus, the Prime has made the good Sixty Second Shooter great.
The Xbox has a strong history with twin stick retro shooters. Geometry Wars by Bizzare went on to be one of the most downloaded games during the 360 lifetime and although Bizzare are no more, Jamie Fristrom and his studio Happion Labs have proved themselves more than able to continue this tradition.
So more about the actual game. SSSP does what it says on the tin. Each game lasts up to sixty seconds. If you can last that long it tasks you with steering your ship around a beautifully realised play area, avoiding a multitude of different enemies, whilst blasting away and trying to build your score. Sounds so very simple and at first glance it is, but after a few hundred seconds of playing the depth of the game suddenly becomes clear.
With the idea to build your highest score, there are a surprising array of ways to achieve this. Enemies left alone will multiply, so you could wait a while letting their ranks swell and then take them all down for a bumper payout. Perhaps you’re after a harder challenge? Well you can drop through the current level to the one below, where sterner foes gather. It’s all tied together with a combo system that will see your score leap up for consecutive kills and an interesting power up dynamic.
The more you play the more power-ups you unlock. Once unlocked, these still need collecting whilst playing by flying your ship over them. From missiles for taking out groups of foes, a short boost that makes you invincible, dual and quad fire, precision mode which slows everything down and a score multiplier which can really see your score rocket.
As you progress, other unlocks include an array of different graphics options which change the hue of both the playing field and the enemies, to an infinite mode where time is not an issue and you just have to survive whilst adding to that ever important score. The inclusion of leader-boards is such a great incentive to keep playing, always trying to best the score of your friends, as are the achievements on offer. Challenging and yet perceived as attainable, time will tell if i’ll squeeze out the full 1000G on offer but I’ll certainly be giving it a shot.
One More Time
Sixty Second Shooter is a perfect bite size chunk of gaming goodness, you can play this in the time it would take other games to load up. Several times now, whilst heading to my Xbox One to play something else I’ve often found myself booting this up for a couple of quick games, ignoring the AAA £50 game I originally wanted to play. For a game that costs just £3.99 on the Xbox store that’s quite an achievement. Looking at the Happion Labs webpage, Jamie Fristrom states that his proudest accomplishment in the gaming industry was inventing the dynamic, physical swinging system in Spiderman 2 back in 2004, in the not so distant future I think he’ll be able to replace that with creator of Sixty Second Shooter Prime.
Sixty Second Shooter Prime is avalable for xbox one and can be found here http://store.xbox.com/en-GB/Xbox-One/Games/Sixty-Second-Shooter-Prime/04df8851-c3e5-40d6-82dc-b0d17d0f93aa
Developer: Happion Labs