Apogee always released good flying shooter types. This one follows in the wake of Major Stryker, Raptor, and Zone 66. On the market in 1996, it features fast-paced action, good replayability and good graphics, all with an unrelenting difficulty that's sure to have you cursing your way through the first episode on the easiest difficulty. Tip: When you're at the buy screens, press F2 to save your game. Make a save for each level so that you can come back if you mess something up. You'll be glad you did.
Fly your ship through a 2D plane of explosions, spaceships, and extra explosions collecting powerups, credits and points. Unique, no, simple, yes, but it does feature a buy screen where you can purchase upgrades to your ship and get it working the way you want. You can stack two extra guns of your choice, two orbiting moons that do various things, and install engines to keep your speed up. All of these features become apparently necessary, as you're not going to get anywhere without upgrading. Once you beat the stage, you face a boss, which is usually just some unimaginative spaceship with some weak points you've gotta hit.
They're real good and they work very fast. Everything flying around you gives a great feeling of chaos and it takes a fine-tuned player to get used to its insanity. The enemies look good, the levels are okay, and your ship changes as you upgrade it. Cool. The enemies and bosses could have been cooler though, minus a point.
There's some rockin' digitized music, entertaining digitized speech, and a punch of pew-pews. It does add a lot to the overall experience. Repetitive after a while, so I'm dockin' 2 points.
It's an awesome addition to your freeware collection. You'll be playing it again and again as you discover the best weapon combinations for your play style. The story doesn't exactly keep you feeling gripped, but it does give you some sort of premise as to what the hell you're doing on this planet. Apogee went and gave the game away for free starting in 2005, which is quite generous of them, considering how great the game is. Check out the link below for some more information on a great game that time forgot!