You know what was a great twin-stick shooter? Waves, available on Steam for a couple years now and frequently just a few cents shy of being free during the holiday sales. Basically, if you like a good bout of straightforward arcade shooting with a large number of play modes that mix up the objectives in a way that nicely set it apart from Geometry Wars, Waves is probably already in your gaming library. And now there’s going to be a sequel.
Waves: Arena Tactics landed on Kickstarter in early February and it’s been slow going since the start. Yes, Kickstarter is a wasteland at the moment, and the new site design is not only too clever for its own good but also excels in hiding information, but there’s some good stuff on there if you dig deep enough to find it. Waves: Arena Tactics is buried in there, and it’s not only a sequel to an excellent game but also has plans to expand on it hugely. The arenas are going to grow and get more intricate than the original’s large empty circle, there’s new enemy types to destroy with a large number of new weapons and support items, online multiplayer featuring both co-op and PVP, and other goodies to use all the new toys with. It’s a far more ambitious plan than I’d have expected Waves’s sequel to attempt, but if the already-proven gameplay can take this much expansion I’d love to see it happen.
While the clock is winding down worryingly fast on the Kickstarter campaign, Squid in a Box isn’t sitting back twiddling its tentacles. If you play the original Waves right now you get to experiment with the solid laser weapon for pinpoint precision shooting, or switch back to the standard light-spread gun in the options menu. It’s maybe not as effective as a demo would be but still gives players a taste of the changes the new game could provide. Waves: Arena Tactics is all about encouraging the player to experiment with their choice of play style, and it would be nice to see a financial miracle pop up in the campaign’s final week and a half to allow the full range of possibilities in that design to be explored.