Spacejacked is where you get to show your mettle

Build turrets with the amount of metal you have and shoot down the enemy aliens before they destroy your ship's cores.
Build turrets with the amount of metal you have and shoot down the enemy aliens before they destroy your ship's cores.PHOTO: ROTTEN MAGE

Spacejacked is a fun, nostalgic throwback not just to the 16-bit run-and-gun games of yesteryear, but also to the tower defence genre popular a decade ago.

The action takes place on a 2D-spaceship where you assume control of Dave, the ship's chief technician.

Your goal is to defend the ship's cores, located in different rooms, against waves of enemy aliens that spawn on platforms.

You do so by building turrets to shoot them down before they destroy these cores.

Once these aliens pop out from portals, the gameplay becomes frenetic, leaving you little time to think about turret placement when you're just reacting to the stream of aliens swarming the level.

The number of turrets is limited by the amount of metal you have. Defend one room by plonking down too many turrets there, and you run the risk of not having enough metal for other rooms. That's where the strategic planning in salvaging unused turrets comes in, and being able to react quickly to different enemy types by building the correct type of turrets.

  • 7/10

    RATING

    PRICE: $10.50 (PC)

    GENRE: Arcade tower defence

A wave of quick-moving aliens just spawned? Better build a stasis turret to slow them down. If slow-moving enemies with high health spawn, it's best to use a laser turret that shoots slower but deals more damage.

It's not an easy game as enemies come fast and furious. The first few levels had me scrambling to set up the correct turrets in the right locations, only to crash and burn on the fifth stage when I couldn't react fast enough.

But everything clicks, several levels in, when I got the hang of which turrets to build and how to upgrade through experience.

The soundtrack is a surprising hit as well. Spacejacked's catchy, retro 8-bit chiptunes had me bopping along as I indiscriminately slaughtered pixelated alien invaders.

Lester Hio

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'Spacejacked is where you get to show your mettle'. Print Edition | Subscribe