An Identiy Crisis of Interstellar Proportions
1945 Galaxy Shooter was undoubtedly an interesting game to review. However, that has more to do with the circumstances around it than the mediocre bullet-hell shooter itself. Instead, what makes 1945 Galaxy Shooter interesting is that it doesn’t actually exist.
You see, the developers listed it under the name 1945 Galaxy Shooter on Google Play. However, the game you actually download is the much more generically titled Space Shooter. I can only assume Rendered Ideas made Space Shooter before realizing the name was already taken on Google Play. It also seems like an attempt to convince fans it’s related to their existing World War 2 games. Rendered Ideas went as far as including fake screenshots of what appears to be a totally different game.
I also suspect this isn’t the only deception on the part of Rendered Ideas. 1945 Galaxy Shooter, or whatever it’s called, has many 5-star user reviews, but there’s something fishy about them. There are many long paragraphs in broken English, and a suspicious number go out of their way to use the game’s name in the text. I don’t necessarily want to make accusations here, but I suspect not all these happy customers are real people.
Conspiracies and confusing titles aside, 1945 Galaxy Shooter/Space Shooter is a top-down shooter reminiscent of classic arcade titles like Galaga or Galaxian. Players control a starfighter defending Earth from waves of insectoid alien ships. Some enemies are polite enough to stay in slowly moving formations. Meanwhile, others zip around the screen or fire projectiles at the player’s craft. Each level ends with a mini-boss, with a proper boss every fifth level.
The game’s controls could hardly be more straightforward. The player’s ship fires continuously, and you steer by moving your finger across the screen. Difficulty ramps up very slowly, so you can get quite far in the game without dying. However, the challenge can be inconsistent. For example, several tense and exciting levels might be followed by a critically underwhelming boss.
The mini-bosses are something of a letdown in general. There is only a handful, they show up again and again, and few are dangerous enough to feel like a threat. The player can defeat one in every ten or so by sitting in the easily located blind spot where their attacks can’t hit you. Fortunately, the full-sized bosses are significantly better and have much more varied designs. The robot snake and massive rotating space station were two particularly fun encounters.
Players start with one ship available and can unlock four more by collecting coins from destroyed enemy ships. Each is progressively more expensive than the last, though only the final ship, the Artemis, feels like a substantial upgrade. All five fighters seem to have the same health and base damage. The main difference is the available power-ups, though there isn’t much of a constant theme. The first and fourth ship’s power-ups mostly fire in a straight line, with the second and third spraying bullets in a cone. However, there are too many exceptions for any of these to count as rules. Meanwhile, the Artemis’ theme is having all the best power-ups from the other four. Annoyingly though, there’s no indication of what power-up you’re getting before picking it up. Players should be careful if they already have one of the more powerful upgrades.
The Galaxy Shooter also looks pretty good, with reasonably detailed sprites and impressive background art. I also really liked the music. It sounds like what would be playing in a space nightclub in a Sci-Fi Channel original series. It fits well with the rest of the game and absolutely enhances the experience. The only downside is there aren’t many tracks, meaning the music can get repetitive after a while.
My most significant criticism is that there’s not much reason to continue after unlocking all five ships. There are a couple of hundred levels but no real ending, just a big “Coming Soon” at the end of the list. It is not a bad way to kill time if that’s all you’re after, but don’t go into the game expecting anything else.
Overall, 1945 Galaxy Shooter is a fun but hardly groundbreaking version of a game we’ve all seen before. It’s action-packed enough that I wasn’t bored, but hardcore shooter fans might prefer something more challenging. Ultimately a fun experience but, identity crisis aside, not one that’ll stick with you after you stop playing.
Is It Hardcore?
Overall, 1945 Galaxy Shooter is a fun experience with great music and good visuals but lacks a good sense of progression and might be too easy for hardcore shooter fans.