Review Code Provided
Habroxia is retro styled space shooter which brings to mind classics from the NES era such as Lifeforce, or Salamander depending where you come from. Everything about it is retro styled, even the randomised music tracks you hear throughout your play.
Habroxia plays about as well as you expect, albeit with a few modern twists on the retro formula. You control your ship usually going from left to right and can make use of short booster to have a little extra speed to avoid tight situations, when it comes to firing you can shoot straight ahead or to the side or if you want a little more spread, you can press both firing buttons at the same time to split the difference. You’ll also sometimes come across power ups during the levels, some are applied to the stats of your ship to make the shots more powerful or make your missiles more frequent, while others are secondary weapons you can hold and use at any time, though you can only hold one at a time and picking up a different one will replace the one you have held.
While you can get power ups during your play, you’ll also be able to collect credits which you can spend on permanent upgrades for your ship. It’s a nice idea having the ability to upgrade the ship but the credits are few and far between, meaning if you want to power up your ship because you’re struggling on a level, the best way to do it is to replay one you know you can do to beat the boss at the end. I had to replay more than a few levels before I had enough credits to power up and stopped struggling, when you do power up though, there’s a bit of a difficulty flip as you go from struggling to get through to having no problem at all. I should mention that I’m not the best at these sorts of games so I imagine there’d be many of you out there who could probably have an easy time without any upgrades whatsoever.
Your upgrades have similar effects to the ones you find while playing, such as adding more missiles that can be fired and increasing your fire rate as well as allowing you to take secondary weapons into the levels with you. You can sell the upgrades you’ve bought if you want to reuse the credits to try a different set up but beware if you do because you won’t get back the same amount you spent on the upgrade. The upgrades also only apply to the campaign, with the other modes requiring you to adopt a more skilful play style in the challenge mode like set up.
There are 15 campaign levels and there’s a boss at the end of every one, with the exception of the ones that require you to rescue adrift astronauts or the ones where the level is just about beating a boss. They’re fairly short and the earlier ones are easy enough that I didn’t need any upgrades, I didn’t start struggling until the first rescue mission where I kept accidentally killing the astronauts or kept getting caught out by the barrage of enemies at about the mid point. Some of the levels will shift the perspective when you get so far in so you’re flying to the top of the screen from the bottom but it will always go back to left to right before the level ends.
Every fifth level you complete in Habroxia will unlock another mode for you to play and the additional modes are; Invasion Mode, Rescue Mode and Shield Maiden Mode. In Invasion Mode you’re stuck to the bottom of a vertical screen and you have to blast away at waves of enemies while making sure none of them manage to get past you or it’s game over. Rescue mode sees you on a permanent astronaut hunt that will only end if you happen to kill one of them, I got quite far in this one since it was so easy I ended up giving up by choice after collecting a huge amount of astronauts but you’re not exactly appropriately rewarded for your efforts, only being given credits for a couple of them. Shield Maiden Mode is the last one you unlock and sees you with a weak ship with more frequent shield power ups and the goal is to try and see how long you can go for before you get destroyed.
Habroxia is a nice little game but there’s not much to it, the reliance on credits to upgrade the ship coupled with their relative rarity seems like a mechanic that would be on a mobile game, dishing them out sparingly as a way to keep you playing for longer. It does work though because of this, I spent a lot longer player than it would have taken me to finish it if credits were plentiful. The other modes are good to have but there’s just not much substance to the game and while the music and layouts of the levels do change, it doesn’t help it to not feel repetitive as you’re playing and while it may look like an old NES classic game, it has hardly any of the enjoyment. It’s not the worst retro style space shooter but if that’s what you’re looking for then I’d recommend digging up an actual retro space shooter to play.
If you want to learn more about this game you can visit this link.
You can buy Habroxia for the PS4 by visiting this link, it’s also a crossbuy title so you’ll get the PS Vita version as well. You’ll still have to wait until tomorrow to get it on the Switch though, but we’ll add that link here as well when the time comes.