Fans of the RPG, base building, and bullet hell genres are in for a treat with the newly announced launch of publisher My.com and developer IT Territory's vertical scrolling shooter, Space Justice. Not content to stand in the same space as other entries in those genres, the Android and iOS cross-platform title delivers a variety of elements of each as well as a strategy-laden PvP mode.
In the main mode of the game, players are planted in the 23rd century, taking on the role of a Space Ranger set out to take down an unknown galactic menace. True to its primary genre, that pits them against waves of enemies against a scrolling backdrop of lush and colorful modern 3D graphics and high-quality audio, accompanied only by their drones.
Dodging incoming projectiles and taking down enemies is the sole objective as players make their way to each stage's boss shootout. Players can also pick their own difficulty across three levels, each making survival more difficult and providing better rewards than the last.
Two-player mode and powerups can be selected at the loadout for each of the more than 70 levels.
Unlike other titles dishing out similar genres, everything centers around a flagship battlecruiser and a separate fleet of pilotable craft that each have their own characteristics and weapon style. Drones follow a similar pattern and more pilots become available to control as progress is made. The flagship can be updated as well through research into new technologies, allowing more content to be unlocked as the intensity ramps up.
The battlecruiser's update play mechanic is important to surviving attacks from other players too, making bolstering defenses and strategizing each improvement well beyond optimizing for the waves of alien invaders.
Like many titles on the Play Store, starting up a level, accessing certain powerups and some other actions do require the use of in-game currency. Levels cost energy while there are two other currencies for upgrading items or enabling powerups.
In-app purchases are definitely present, starting at $3 for a 30-day premium access pack to bolster collection rates and add bonuses. Pricing can go as high as $90 for players who need to pick up a ton of the game's more rare gem currency but paying for items shouldn't be required for this ad-supported, free-to-play title at all.
Completing levels and achievements grants different currencies based on the difficulty level selected so spending real money shouldn't be required with Space Justice. Cards can be collected by grinding away at levels in true bullet hell fashion that will allow individual pilot upgrades. So everything is attainable without making a purchase and those who are a bit on the impatient side can spend real money to move along more quickly.
Coupled with RPG-style updates and ship maintenance to attend to, Space Justice is a modern mobile spin on an arcade title complete with an obscure story, frustratingly difficult projectile-filled levels, and in-stage ship improvements. It also incorporates cross-platform co-op and engaging player-on-player action to ensure there's always something to do or help at hand when users get stuck on more challenging levels.
In short, its low entry-cost -- free -- makes Space Justice an instant classic well worth a deeper look for fans of shoot 'em up games or just about anybody looking for a way to kill some time.