Eat laser death, space pirates! Yeah, we’re having fun here…
Laser death with space pirates
£10.99 Developer Passtech Games, passtechgames.com OS 10.7.5+ Requires Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, 2GB RAM, 512MB graphics card/ Intel HD Graphics 3000 or better, 1GB HDD space
Technically, Space Run is a tower defence game. It’s a genre that’s near-saturated at this point, so perhaps the best thing Space Run does is avoid looking or feeling too much like this sort of game. You’re a transport pilot, taking cargo from place to place. Inevitably, pirates try to destroy your goods and/or you. This is solved by adding lasers turrets, missile launchers and shields to your ship, among other options. Each mission provides a ship of a different shape, giving you new choices each time: what parts should go in what spots to best defend it? It’s a balancing act – each weapon has a firing arc, so you need to ensure wide coverage, but some weapons can block each other, or require additional power. And do you need to use weapon space for a shield? Also, you need to build engines for your ship, and as there’s a time limit on each mission, you need to prioritise your spending.
The greatness is in how dynamic and free it feels – swinging a bank of lasers into action is superb. The difficulty really steps up later, though, and the ship/enemy combinations become more like puzzles to solve through trial and error. Your building must be optimised for the mission. It starts to feel more restricted, and can be more frustrating. It can also be quite frantic – we often wished we could pause time and queue commands. It’s still always nothing less than a big pile of lasery, explodey fun, though. Matt Bolton
The ships are based on a hexagonal grid, giving you lots of options for layouts.