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Worth the Points

*pew* *pew* *pew* with a Number 2

GraphSpacer is a top-down flying ship-shooter that is equal parts Geometry Wars and Air Hockey. It's a pretty formulaic space blaster- zoom back and forth across the screen, zap anything that moves, dodge anything that comes near your ship. Overall, there isn't a whole lot of basic action in this game that will surprise anyone who's familiar with the genre.

 

The one unique gameplay element that GraphSpacer employs forces you to use your ship's momentum to aim your guns. Therefore, you must hurtle throughout the level and build up speed so you can ricochet your bullets off the level walls to destroy your foes. While this is an interesting mechanic, it requires you to yo-yo throughout the level with reckless abandon when you're trying to shoot enemies, and if you miss, you'll often slam right into the baddie you were trying to destroy. You're constantly challenged to find a balance between attacking enemies and safely navigating your vessel, since the steering and shooting are intricately linked, unlike many other space shooters that allow for independent control of aiming and piloting.

 

If you're wondering what the greatest asset of this game would be, it's definitely the graphics. The background is a giant piece of loose leaf notebook paper and the visual elements of the game stay true to this unique theme. The ships and enemies are all neatly sketched up and animated like an old flipbook and your ship's bullets are tiny bits of projectile graphite. Stylistically, this title definitely has an endearing artistic flair that surpasses most of its fellow Community Games.

 

Personally, I'm still a bit partial to the shiny colors, powerful weapons and fast-paced arcade action of Geometry Wars, but GraphSpacer is a more cerebral, precise type of space-shooter. You must swoop precariously across the screen, on the brink of losing control, without ramming into any of the floating obstacles, laser beams or box traps. It certainly caters to a slightly different type of player, but for 200 points, it's definitely worth a shot. So pick up your pencil and sketch yourself into the world of GraphSpacer.

 

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While I do agree that the act of shooting might be more complicated/frustrating than others, it does force you to be more precise with indirect attacks and do some on-the-fly trigonometry to bank shots at your enemies.  It's decidedly different from it's peers, and for a mere $3 of points (I probably would have voted the other way if it cost more), it's at least an interesting challenge.

You're too kind. I played this one awhile back, but never got around to typing up the review. Using the momentum as a game mechanic is great on paper (har har), but it just doesn't work for a shooter. I consider GraphSpacer to be far more imprecise than other shooters out there, as the formula for where your bullets go is much more complex than just "shoot that way." The pencil-sketch graphics are nice, but I found the game itself to be almost unplayable.

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