In a world where gameplay becomes more and more intricate and complicated with every new generation its rare that we find a game that harkens back to the simplicity of old. Thankfully, Syder Arcade is that rare game, and for anyone who loves old-school arcade space shooters, this is the game for you.

There is not too much to say about Syder Arcade. That’s not an insult, trust me it’s not, I say that because much like the game, actions speak louder than words.

Syder Arcade is a no holds barred, straight-up street fight of a space shooter. The gameplay is what it’s all about. Is there a story? Yes. But does it really matter? No. Again though that’s not an insult, the story is simply there to show why you’re going into certain situations.

There are two modes of play, Campaign and Survival. The Campaign mode is divided into six different missions, all have different objectives, different enemies to fight, and obstacles to avoid. Some may think that the levels are “typical” or “cliché”, maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but I didn’t care because the gameplay really fun and addicting.

Much like old-school space shooters on an arcade machine, the control scheme is very simple. You control your ship with the arrow keys (you can also use a controller) and you can use the space bar to flip your ship horizontally. It’s this simple mechanic that separates it from other side scroller shooters and it works really well.

You have two weapons, one that can be fired constantly, and one that has limits but can be charged up. For me I had a laser and a hyper beam. There are currently three ships you can choose from with more being added as future DLC. Each has its own unique weapons and designs that give it different values in speed, weapons, and armor. What you choose will affect how you play and how you will survive…if you survive.

Survive this!

Survive this!

 

Why do I say that? Because this game is merciless. Even in the first campaign level the enemies are constant, always spawning, ever-present, and most definitely lethal. There are tons of aliens and ships flying at you out of nowhere. It will take skill and precision to make it through the levels.

Thankfully Syder Arcade provides you with some boosts. Killing enemies drops cubes that will give you a bigger score, restore health, and sometimes upgrade your ship. From stronger lasers, to side and rear shots, to homing missiles, this game provides it all. No grinding, just collecting.

The Survival Mode is just that: Survive! You are dropped into the middle of a level and given a clock, the enemies come and you shoot them. You have one life (unless you earn another by getting a big enough score) so you can’t waste it. This mode was very intense, it took all of 30 seconds to begin feeling swarmed by aliens. Strategy and skill are needed here to get the high score.

One of the interesting things about Syder Arcade is the graphics. Instead of being forced to look at a certain artistic style, players can choose how their game looks from a list of 20 different graphic styles. From beautiful modern graphics to old school retro ones, how you see it as you play is up to you. The switch is on the main menu for you to experiment with. Each style is gorgeous, the levels are beautifully rendered and the sense of depth is amazing.

Space looks amazing doesn't it?

Space looks amazing doesn’t it?

 

The soundtrack is very old-school. Classic space-theme style and easy to get in your head and having you feel the flow of space battle. It’s clear the team behind Syder Arcade wanted this to be retro inside and out and they got it.

Sadly there are some drawbacks. Like I said earlier the story is thin, there’s only three or four characters who talk in the entire game. Obviously this isn’t meant to be a story game but a little better depth would’ve been nice. Also some of text is either misspelled, misplaced, or goes right off the text box.

The other issue here is depth. All in all there are seven levels (this includes Survival Mode), which is not bad, especially since Survival Mode is a test upon itself. But for those who want a little more and aren’t the kind to replay a level multiple times to beat their score you might be disappointed.

One issue that bugged me personally was a song that played during the endings of missions. The same theme would play whether you won or lost. Why is that a problem? Because in the song they sing “Mission Accomplished”, why should that play when I lose?

In the end though Syder Arcade is a fun, retro, callback to the days of yore. If you love playing a game that will test your side scrolling shooting skills then by all means pick this game up. It is fun, it is challenging, and its worth a look.

3.5 out of 5 Stashes

Pros:
Cons:
- Old School Feel In Full Effect

- Customizable Art Style

- Tons of Difficulty

 

- Story is Thin

- Depth is an Issue

- In-Game Grammar and Text Issues

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