Graceful Explosion Machine (PS4, Switch, PC)

Graceful Explosion Machine hearkens back to the days of classic arcade shooters like Defender.  Pilot your spacecraft around continuously looping screens as you shoot everything that moves.  When there’s nothing left to shoot, you win and move onto the next level.  The game is available to download on PS4, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Each planet in the game has several levels, and in each level, there are phases of enemy waves that you must survive.  When you pass all the phases in a level, you win.  But get hit too many times and it’s Game Over and you must start over at the last phase.  Maneuver your ship around with the L stick and flip shooting direction with the L trigger button.  The R trigger button lets you dash through crowds of enemies when you’re in a pinch.

Your ship comes equipped with a multitude of weapons.  Your main zapper shoots forward about three fourths of the way to the end of the screen.  You can shoot it rapid fire, but you’ll have to be careful because it can overheat if you use it too much, and you won’t be able to fire for a few seconds if it does.  Mind the meter on the bottom of the screen so that it won’t happen.  Luckily you get three secondary weapons.  Press the square button to unleash a laser sword that circles your ship and defeats nearby enemies and deflects bullets.  Hold down the circle button to fire a long distance laser that can zap far away enemies.  And the triangle button releases a barrage of homing missiles to destroy multiple targets.  You’ll have to be careful when using these secondary weapons, though, as they require power.  Collect crystals from defeated enemies to refill your power bar so you can use your special weapons.

Again, the 2-D looping screens in this shooter made me think of arcade classics like Defender (there’s even a radar screen at the top that shows where everything is), and the brightly colored geometric graphics reminded me of some of the PixelJunk games.  Aside from the high challenge, the only other problem I had with the game is that the explosions are so colorful, it made it hard to see enemies in all the chaos.  That’s really the only time I ever got hit was when that happened.  But if you enjoy challenging arcade style gameplay, you may want to try this out anyway.

Kid Factor:

Your spaceship shoots simple shapes and graphics that explode in colorful rainbows, and that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may get frustrated at the high challenge level, though.  Graceful Explosion Machine is rated E for Everyone.

One Response to “Graceful Explosion Machine (PS4, Switch, PC)”

  1. good

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