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'Xotic,' a review

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Xotic, if nothing else, offers an exotic mix of gameplay elements set in an appealing and colorful alien environment.
The title from a small developer, WXP Games, features elements of a first-person shooter, puzzler, platformer and racing game.
The background story involves an alien planet that has been infested by a mysterious orb. Your character, which features definite insect characteristics, has been created to destroy the orb and its offshoots.
Xotic proves to be a deceptively simple arcade style game.
In each level, players seek to destroy enemies, set off chain reactions and collect items. To start a chain reaction, destroy a scab plant. It will then destroy nearby scab plants. When a chain reaction is completed, players have five seconds to start another one and keep the chain reaction going.
At the end of a level, players get to see their score and the number of stars they have earned (one to five). Your star rating is based on score, time taken, combos achieved, accuracy and objectives completed.
If you are unhappy with your score, you can go back and retry the level.
Usually, it does take a trip or two through each level to get your bearings.
Completing levels also earns a player points that can be spent on upgrading the game's eight weapons or four skills (health, energy well, barkskin and absorption).
There are six types of power-ups to be found. They include regenerate, flight, energize, double damage, speed shot and double/triple points.
Weapons are the spineshot, crusher, virus, slayer, scorch, bombug, volt and rocket flies.
The weapons are clever. However, it did find that only through trial and error did it begin to become clear which weapon was best to use in a particular situation.
Would like to have seen this explained better.
A level's enemies (monster, turret and enemy spawner) and their numbers are depicted in the HUD display. Your mouse pointer also is highlighted in red to indicate the direction of the nearest enemy.
Despite the ability to use a cover mechanic, those enemies often proved more deadly than one might expect given the arcade nature of Xotic.
A clever feature of the platforming element is the ability to create solid holograms.
Players can jump into the air then press the Tab key to erect a hologram beneath them. Using this technique players can gain access to pretty much all area on a level.
Xotic delivers charming and challenging gameplay.
The game is available for $9.99 through digital download at WXP Games. It requires Windows XP, Vista or 7; a 1.7 GHz dual core processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 512 MB video card.


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This page contains a single entry by Matt Cappellini published on February 22, 2012 4:01 PM.

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