THE NEXT SPACE

Retro Gamer - - A MOMENT WITH -

De­vel­oper: snk Year: 1989 Genre: shoot-’em-up

Some­times, you come across a game that would have been per­fectly ac­cept­able in years gone by that is just no longer up to scratch, and that’s the ma­jor prob­lem with The Next Space. In the early Eight­ies, it was fine to have a shoot-’em-up where all the stages had the same star field back­ground, with tiny en­e­mies lead­ing up to a boss fight. By 1989, the genre had moved on con­sid­er­ably.

The defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of The Next Space is its large se­lec­tion of nine sub­weapons, rang­ing from a large de­layed det­o­na­tion bomb to hom­ing shots, which can be ac­quired by pick­ing up al­pha­bet­i­cal icons. You can shoot th­ese icons to change the let­ter, mean­ing that ev­ery power-up is essen­tially uni­ver­sal – yet for some rea­son, the game still blan­kets the screen with them, which just serves to shield en­e­mies from in­com­ing shots.

There’s noth­ing that The Next Space does which wasn’t al­ready be­ing done bet­ter in ar­cades years ear­lier, and frankly even on con­soles – Gun­hed on the PC En­gine makes this look frankly silly. Un­less this was pro­duced for peo­ple who felt that the shooting genre had be­come too com­plex, we can’t see who it was try­ing to ap­peal to.

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