Rick Henderson (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

I love how the title of this game is just some average guy’s name.  When I did an image search to get pictures for this review, at first all I got was a bunch of dudes’ faces!  That cracked me up.  I can’t wait until they come out with a game called “Cary Woodham.”  What kind of game would you think that would be?  Well this game is a standard 2-D side scrolling shooter and it’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

There are four modes of play.  A normal endless mode, a hard endless mode, a boss rush, and a tutorial.  You can take multiple hits, but you only get one life.  When you start you’ll choose one of three ships.  Each one has different shield and speed power.  They also have different special attacks you can trigger once a meter is full.  The other three buttons let you shoot different weapons: a straight shot, a spread shot, or missiles.  The enemies are weak against certain types of shots, but it’s hard to tell which ones are like that.  When you graze bullets, a meter fills up and when it’s full you can use the aforementioned special attacks.  Enemies will sometimes leave power-ups to change one of your weapons, but they are hardly better than your default ones.  You can also collect gems to increase your rank to get higher scores, and a score multiplier goes up every time you defeat enemies without getting hit yourself.

The game is somewhat randomly generated so each playthrough won’t be the same, but the bosses at the end of the levels are always the same ones.  But this also means the stages are pretty bland and unimaginative.  Really the only other problem I had with this game was that it’s a bit too hard and you can’t continue where you left off and must start over when you die.  But if you need another 2-D horizontal shooter to play, here’s one for you.

Kid Factor:

Rick Henderson is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  You shoot spaceships with lasers that explode when defeated, and that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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