PixelJunk Shooter

Kombo’s Review Policy: Our reviews are written for you. Our goal is to write honest, to-the-point reviews that don’t waste your time. This is why we’ve split our reviews into four sections: What the Game’s About, What’s Hot, What’s Not and Final Word, so that you can easily find the information you want from our reviews.

What the Game’s About
PixelJunk Shooter is the fourth game in the PixelJunk series. The game is about you (and a friend, if you want) entering underground mines and rescuing trapped miners. You fly around in a space ship and interact with the environment with the help of your blasters and power-ups you find along the way.

What’s Hot
The developers at Q-Games know how to take a classic type of game, innovate the hell out of it and present a masterful creation like Shooter. Shooter is a shooter at its heart (hence the name) but it doesn’t only rely on that to make it such a fun and addicting game to play. There are heavy puzzle elements that come into play with the environment, and a few basic types of terrain that you come across: magma, gas, solid ground, ice and water. These elements can interact with each other and cause all sorts of effects. For example, you can spray water on ice to freeze the water and create more solid. ground. You have to negotiate the terrains in order to rescue the trapped miners. All these elements that come together create video game magic and a sense of unadulterated fun. You’ll be exploring these caves for all their secrets and hidden treasures. There is plenty to discover in Shooter as you try and interact with the environment in a bunch of different ways.

One of the best new parts of Shooter that you shouldn’t miss is when the stages culminate in a boss fight. The bosses are fun old school in design with specific patterns and multiple stages. It is great to finish a stage after solving some puzzles by blasting the heck out of a large beast. When you aren’t fending off a gigantic creature, the stages take on their own life. There is a sense of fluidity as you alter the terrain and splash around in the water. There is an innate satisfaction when you break a dam that is holding back water or magma and seeing it cascade down to open up new areas of a level. It feels, in all, each element to Shooter was carefully balanced and tested to ensure there is a sense of adventure and excitement.

What’s Not
The game is short, much like this section will be. You’ll be having such a great time that it feels like it ends too suddenly. When you do come to the end, you’ll see that more levels are planned just for a later add-on. You don’t feel as if there is as much content, compared to other PixelJunk games. You’ll scream for more but ultimately you will have to wait until Shooter Encore arrives. Small attempts were made to increase lasting appeal with hidden areas and a leader board. Unlike other PixelJunk games where even when you complete the game 100% you’ll be still playing it, Shooter just isn’t that type of game.

Final Word
Shooter represents the key learning and fun aspects of all the PixelJunk games thus far. You’ll notice cues being taken from Racers, Monsters and Eden. Those sources of inspiration don’t rob Shooter of its own identity, in fact, with its own personality it benefits from the familiar content. If you consider yourself a gamer and fancy the online stores, there is no excuse not to play Shooter. It closes the year out with a great title on the PSN with an innovative approach to a classic genre. It doesn’t come any better than this.