Ratalaika Games just released Super Destronaut DX for a wide range of systems. It’s available for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and Playstation Vita. We tested the Vita version, which features cross-buy functionality with the PS4 edition.
Super Destronaut DX, like many of Ratalaika’s games, isn’t shy about showing what it’s inspired on – in this case, a modern version of Space Invaders. There is a “how to play” option in the menu, but the Space Invader formula is so easy to understand that you might as well just dive straight in. The “how to” section seems to realize this, as it mainly focuses on how you can temporarily access stronger weapons (“shoot the orange aliens”) and how you lose your multiplier when you get hit or don’t kill an alien within three seconds of the last one. That last bit is important if you want to score big, you’ll learn later.
The game features four different modes, starting with “classic” which gives you three lives to score as many points as possible. There is no way to gain extra lives, enemy formations are random with each level, and you’ll quickly start to unlock achievements/trophies. Yes, as with many of Ratalaika’s games, this is one that trophy hunters will certainly want to pick up. About three quarters of the trophies are gained in classic mode, with the remaining few being easy to pick up as you play the other modes. It took me about twenty minutes to unlock everything, including the platinum trophy, and I wasn’t even gunning for them.
There is also a challenge mode, with features a ton of small challenges of increasing difficulty. Survive three waves, destroy 50 enemies, that sort of stuff. Most of the challenges start you off in classic mode, meaning that you’re working with three lives to get to your challenge objective. The difference lies in the fact that the game ends when you meet your goal, which is when you can either move on to the next one or quit.
The other two main modes are time attack and “hardcore”. The gameplay in these modes is the same, with one mode giving you just 90 seconds to score as high as possible (this is where the multiplier effect becomes crucial) and the other one giving you just one life to work with. If you like trophies then you’ll quickly be done with these, but if you’re a fan of online leaderboards you’ll definitely get a kick out of boosting your score and comparing it to the scores of others.
The console versions feature local multiplier, but the Vita version doesn’t. It’s visually a nice title though, with plenty of neon colors and lighting effects – a nice change of pace from the 8-bit visuals we’ve seen so much lately. I did get the sense that the Vita struggled at times and showed some slowdown, but since the game naturally slows down when you get a powerup, it was hard to tell if this was a technical issue. Either way, it wasn’t to the point of hurting my enjoyment.
Super Destronaut DX does just about what you’d expect from a retro-inspired budget priced game – it’s short on content, it’s fun while it lasts, and it follows a tried and true formula. I had fun with it, but if you’re in no way interested in trophy hunting and online leaderboards, you’ll probably want to spend your five dollars/euros on something else.