Sixty Second Shooter Prime is developed and published by Happion Laboratories. It was released June 18, 2014 on Xbox One for $4.99. An Xbox One copy was provided for review purposes.
ID@Xbox is shaping up to be an excellent and very welcome platform for independent developers to bring their beloved games to the Xbox One platform. With the program, we’ll see exciting creative directions and artistic expressions. But then there comes along a game such as Sixty Second Shooter Prime that brings out the worst plague of the mobile market today: cloning.
Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a twin-stick shooter that tasks the player with traversing a two-dimensional plane, blasting away hordes of geometric enemies, each with different patterns and tactics the player must evade. The catch? The player has only 60 seconds and one life. Rack up as many points as you can while collecting powerups and multipliers and try to topple your friends’ high scores. Sound familiar?
Here’s what we liked:
It’s Geometry Wars – Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a twin-stick shooter blasting away simple geometric enemies. There is fun to be had, but this isn’t a game to sink hours into. It’s a quick game to sneak into commercial breaks in TV or if a partner goes to the restroom during a movie. Notable differences fromGeometry Wars include a diagonal perspective of the board and a system of checkpoints which will drop you into deeper and harder layers of the game. These differences provide a different and sometimes even more difficult challenge than Geometry Wars as reaching the lower levels rewards the player with higher scores. In addition, there’s an Infinity Mode for those endurance nuts out there.
Here’s what we didn’t like:
It’s Geometry Wars – Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a clone. The developers have manipulated the DNA just enough to call it their own, but yet, the game is all too similar to Geometry Wars, which is better. SSSP copies the neon visuals, geometric enemies, enclosed rectangular playspace, the shooting mechanics, and so much more. It becomes upsetting when ID@Xbox should be a celebration of creativity and yet SSSP plagues the marketplace as a rehash of an XBLA favorite.
Up, up, down, down, left, right, dead – Dying in the game can become quite frustrating quite fast. You will die a lot. Yet, it’s one thing to die on one’s own accord, but SSSP leads to one too many cheap deaths that makes for enraged players. Hopping into a new game is split-second fast, but still, when the player spawns directly on top of an enemy a millisecond into the game, it’s clear that the developers didn’t take their time curating their work. In addition, new skins are unlocked while playing the game, which are cool in concept, but over half of the skins aren’t worth the pain and suffering from poorly contrasted colors between your ship, enemies and the backdrop. Dying is all too often not the player’s fault, which should rarely be the case in a video game.
What if Donkey Kong had upgrades? – SSSP is essentially a coin-op game you’d find as an arced cabinet in the bowling alley (which actually might serve the game better). So, it was bizarre finding that the player must play the same game over and over and over again for, at the very least, an hour before having access to all the upgrades and actually accumulate competitive high scores. In fact, they’re not even upgrades, the game should simply give you all the tools in the beginning and let you enjoy from there. This isn’t an RPG. SSSP’s “upgrades” are equivalent to not being able to jump for the first 100 times you play Donkey Kong, slowly grinding out futile attempts to climb up to Paulina as each barrel bludgeons your face. The goal of SSSP is high scores, and restricting the player from all essential tools for such is a terrible design flaw.
Sixty Second Shooter Prime is very much Deadline from Geometry Wars 2. Yet even Deadline had more rewarding combatants, less annoying sound, and let players fully dominate from their first go. For the first 60 seconds of SSSP you’re clueless. The next 600 seconds is a blast. The following 3600 seconds are grindy. And the last 60 seconds, you’ll be so over this cheap, mundane knockoff that you’ll fire up your 360 again and just play the classic Geometry Wars with a smile from ear to ear.
Score: Skip It