Though I used to enjoy playing the scrolling shoot ‘em ups that dominated the gaming scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I always found them quite tough and usually sucked at the boss fights. Oh yeah, and some of them used to be pretty hard going on the old thumbs if you didn’t have a decent autofire solution. So I had mixed feelings when I was asked to review Tesseract Interactive’s Excubitor. Fortunately, I rather enjoyed its slick and intelligent blend of bullet-hell arcade action and tower-defense strategy elements.
Set in 2182 in a remote star system colonised for the purpose of mining voidshard crystals, Excubitor begins when the GRB Antares responds to a distress call from Isigura Station on the planet Farris. It seems that Svarog Tech’s automated military defence drones have gone bonkers and turned on the colonists. As the pilot of the Antares’ sole combat escort, the SST-77 Hammerhead, it’s up to you to protect them and find out what went wrong.
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