Sunday, April 12, 2009

This isn't Life+ at all.
Today I'd like to talk about Electrum. Electrum is an arcade shooter classic. It costs a single token for each life. The token exchange rate is 1 for 25 coins.

Lives are on top, then score, then the wave timer, then the wave number.
Electrum's gameplay is that of a survival shooter. You shoot as much as you can until your lives run out, running through an infinite number of swarms of enemies.

'As much as you can' isn't much at first.
The first wave is a warm-up, if you can't get past this wave you should probably move on.

Don't shoot this one.
After the wave timer counts down to zero, enemies stop coming. You still have to survive all of the bullets and enemies on screen, though. When the coast is clear, a carrier flies in to give you a 1-up or Power-Up for your gun.

Saucers divide the playing field into sections, making it harder to move.
Up until a certain wave, a new enemy is introduced every new wave. The frequency of enemies flying onto the screen increases as well.

It's still pretty tame.
Because you never know where the enemies are coming from, Electrum is all about raw reflexes and skill.

You can feel the impact of each hit.
The screen shakes a little for each enemy hit, each explosion that goes off, and whenever you die. Watching your ship becomes very important when things get heated, so if you have trouble keeping track you can always stop shooting. You'll earn less points, but you might live longer. It's up to you how you go about it.

The double-shot is helpful when enemies are grouped.
Each enemy destroyed without dying increases your combo count by one. The score you get for each enemy is calculated by taking a base value, and adding 10*your current combo. This makes it possible to earn very high scores if you can avoid death.

I ran into it.
Of course, you probably can't do that forever. Running into an enemy or bullet makes your ship explode. You lose one level of gun power, one life, and your combo resets to zero. You gain a few precious seconds of invincibility when you spawn again. When you don't have any lives left...

This is a pretty average rank.
It's game over. You can insert more of your tokens any time during gameplay, but once you get to this screen that's all she wrote. You'll see your score and receive a rank based on that, and actually get a prize based on your rank. I haven't shown you everything from this game, but rather gave you a basic idea. Hopefully you'll enjoy it for yourself!

All that said, Electrum is only available in Life+.