Review: Vortex Attack EX (Steam)

Galaxy is in danger with hostile ships swarming from the opening vortex. Blast enemies with a huge variety of upgradeable ships. Frantic arcade shooter featuring world leaderboards and fun multiplayer mode will keep you playing until all ships are unlocked; galaxies saved.

Pros:

  • Nice graphics.
  • 109mb download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Controller support.
  • Shmup gameplay.
  • Graphics-fulls reen, visual filter, scan lines, high detail, screen shake, and HW80s.
  • How to play video.
  • Leaderboards-online and offline.
  • Game stats.
  • Two dimensions–Metal (normal) and Neon (arcade).
  • Choose any unlocked visual filter before play.
  • 1-3 local co-op support.
  • 10 ships to unlock and each has unique stats.
  • End of level score breakdown.
  • Clear unlock notifications.
  • Motherships-big boss battles.
  • Actions-shoot and bomb.
  • Gameplay-shoot enemies and collect white shards which destroy the vortex.
  • Combo counter.
  • Can shoot projectiles.
  • Has a Geometry Wars/Space Invaders vibe.
  • Short level playtime.

Cons:

  • Stuck in a weird how to play loop at times as the game doesn’t register me watching the unskippable video.
  • Delayed menu presses.
  • Music really doesn’t fit the gameplay.
  • Small play area.
  • All bosses feel the same.
  • Levels get very repetitive and use the same loops and layouts a lot.
  • Hard to see power-ups and text.
  • No skill required.
  • Possible to just farm scores by not collecting shards.
  • Enemies fade in and out.
  • Can’t tell what power-ups are or do until you use them.
  • Little replay value.
  • Plain looking enemies.
  • Countdown on the ship selection screen for no reason.

  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Sound - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
6.8/10

Summary

Looking at screenshots of the game you are forgiven for a thing that Vortex Attack EX is a Geometry Wars/Centipede looking experience. It really isn’t and is actually just Centipede but with tedious enemy spawns and uninspiring power-ups. I managed to go through the whole game with no stress or troublesome parts. You unlock ships as you go but again they make such little impact that I never changed much. I wanted the game to be more but it’s just a middling experience with more annoying parts than fun parts and the boss fights highlight that perfectly. Overall I played it, didn’t hate or enjoy it, it’s just OK.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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