Hyperspace Invaders II landed on Itch.io a few months back as a hypercolorful techno music lightshow bullet-hell shooter, and it was a lot of fun. Initially it was pay-what-you-want, but once all the tracks were included and had a few updates it settled down to a wallet-busting price of a mammoth $3. I was happy with it when it was free and the eventual price tag seemed more than fair, but as it turned out there was still more work to be done. Now Hyperspace Invaders II is out on Steam in a new edition with a complete graphic facelift and a new song, but it’s still the great quick-hit shooter it started as.
The basics of the game are fairly straightforward- the ship auto-fires, enemies stream in from the top, and most of them drop a little blue soul orb when shot. Soul orbs power up the bonus multiplier and the power shot, which lets you clear away enemy bullets when you hold down the fire button. Larger yellow drops give you a temporary spread fire. Survive to the end of the song, clear away the enemy waves that are randomly generated by the music in conjunction with how well you’re shooting, and you win the level. Simple, sure, but one hell of a light show and a good challenge on the later songs.
Now Hyperspace Invaders II has gotten a Steam release, and a new chunky-pixel art style to go with it. It takes a few seconds to get used to but, after switching back and forth between the two versions, I find I like both for different reasons.
I’m still not super-fond of the four-way (instead of eight-way) movement, (-Update– Diagonals work fine on the plus pad, but not on the analog stick on the 360 gamepad. It’s being worked on and should be fixed soon.) and a percentage bar showing how much of a song you’ve completed would be welcome, but when the music picks up steam and the background effects light up as giant masses of enemies fly down from the top of the screen, dropping gems and powerups and flashing every possible color all at once when shot, it all works out just fine.
A note about the trailer below- Even in HD, Youtube compression doesn’t do the game any favors. Everything is super-sharp and crisp in motion when you’re actually playing, without a hint of the artifacts in the trailer.