The number of retro-style games is getting disturbingly high on Steam. They're cheaper to make, but they're also very limiting. Indie games are finding more and more of a voice on Patreon and other similar places I'm noticing, and it's making me wonder if bit graphic games will become Steams specialty. The latest, Invasion of the Box People, goes for gold when trying to make things retro. Let's see how they do...
Angered at round bundt cakes, Box People, who hate round things like that, invade Earth. That's as much story we get before we kill them as they invade. Games like this don't really need a story. Like Space Invaders. Aliens are invading. Boom, done. Story doesn't do a lot, but it also doesn't need.
The controls in Box People are pretty standard on Steam. You move around and select certain weapons to kill the invading Box People. I hit a few wrong weapons buttons but most of the time the controls were solid and didn't really phase me at all.
Graphics are, of course, retro-style with a modern twinge. They're retro style in that it's the classic bit graphics and poorly rendered copy and paste background graphics, but more modern, because all though it is a top down style game, the Box Men as well as some weapons are 3D. It's a decent mix, and it really seems retro most of the time. Some of the more 3D graphics can feel out of place at times, but for the most part it works in the feel it's trying to achieve.
Gameplay is simple, as I said, top down style. Surrounded by a blocky circle, you have a variety of weapons to stop the Box People from killing you. I can't really say there's much of a strategy to this because all it is is running around in circles (some game modes not even that – you're stuck in a spot all game) shooting and blowing up Box People. Ok, you can lead them to areas to die, but you need to be quick about it. It does get repetitive at times, but it's still pretty fun, like domino toppling them. But then it becomes tedious again. So I'll say this – gameplay can be fun, but it does get repetitive fast.
Sound and Music! Usually I have a fair bit to say, but this game barely gives me anything to work with. Music is retro and sounds are retro. Like 'bleep, bloop' retro. And that's all you need to know. They're not trying to do anything different – it's just as you would expect a game like this to have.
Glitches – There were a few. No lag problems or anything, just some problems. Image clipping is huge, as the lines aren't all that set, so some characters sort of fall into each other. Also, weapons can take time to charge or to get, so those sometimes stalled out, and you would need to do something big or go in and out of the menu real quick to start it. Otherwise fine, but there are some bugs in there.
Ultimately Invasion of the Box People does what it sets out to do – it creates a retro style game with retro style gameplay with some modern touches. And while it inherits good qualities, like addictiveness and graphics, it has some bad qualities, like repetitiveness and also graphics. If you like old school games, you'll get a kick out of this. But if you want something more substantive, maybe look around a bit more. It's worth a shot in my book, but it's not for everyone.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.