Thursday, July 31, 2014


Lino recently hooked me up with the Steam cards needed to max out my FTL badge, because FTL is awesome. One of the badge creations gave me a coupon for 90% off of the game Ultratron. I took a look, saw it was normally under $10, and that it had Steam cards, and decided it was probably worth 99 cents. It helped that I had $1.02 in my Steam wallet from selling off summer sale cards, so in some sense Ultratron was completely free!

Ultratron is a new generation take on the 1982 arcade game Robotron 2084. I used to play that game as a kid on the Atari 600XL computer! You play the game with 2 joysticks, one which controls your movement and one which aims your gun. Enemies spawn, they shoot at you, you shoot at them. You need to dodge their bullets while killing them all. Collect some pick-ups. Repeat until you get swarmed to death. It's not rocket science, but it was definitely frantic and fun.

Ultratron feels a lot like that with the inclusion of an in game currency you can collect by walking near dead enemies. You can spend that currency on shields or bombs or on upgrading your character in a variety of ways via a tech tree. So it plays like Robotron crossed with the power-up scheme of scrolling shooters. Without the horrible downside that if you die once you lose all your power-ups and are terrible! Mostly because if you die once it's game over... But at least you can spend money on shields which are a lot like extra lives without losing your stuff. Hurray!

The game features a boss fight every 10 levels, and if you pass the boss fight your progress gets saved. Now when I die I can start the game at level 1, or at level 11 with all my currency/stuff from when I first beat level 10, or at level 21 with all that stuff instead. I already restarted once from scratch thinking I could do the first 10 levels better with experience having played the game and I sure was right! My new level 11 save is way better than my old one.

I'm having a lot of fun with the game. The controls work great with my xBox controller, and I like level up systems and I like the way saving works in this game. Not every level, but often enough I don't feel like I need to do the first levels over and over again now that I've gotten really good at them. Absolutely worth 99 cents!

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