Retrobooster is a fond stroll down memory lane. The pleasant memories may only apply if you were old enough to remember or have stumbled upon it through retro enjoyment of an NES title called “Solar Jetman”.  This little gem was released nearly 25 years ago, and I fell in love with it from the second I played it so many years back.  Solar Jetman is very comparable to Retrobooster.

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What a beautiful fail I just made.

Retrobooster looks like your standard spaceship action game at first glance, but after start-up you immediately find out that it is much more than a standard space gunner. The control system alone is wild and almost backwards yet it makes perfect sense in the dynamics of the game. You aim your ship in the desired direction and move by using your boosters, a set in the front and a set in the back.

The movement is tricky and sensitive with practice you can control your little ship with surgical precision. The ship can take a good beating and forgives you on light collisions but if you’re thrusting all out and eat some wall you’re going to explode into a million beautiful pieces.

Once you have mucked around with the control scheme (I recommend using a controller), you throw the weapon system into the mix. Believe me, it doesn’t come easily but with time it will feel natural and you’ll be zipping around blasting mechanized robots and other ships in no time.

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Picking up the homeless is fun.

As the game progresses, you will be given many different helpful power ups.  As the enemies increase in numbers and difficulty, these power ups will become valuable lifesavers. Another helpful and necessary defense item is the default shield that bubbles up around your ship. If you hold down the button, you will drain it quick.  If you learn to time your collisions just right ,you can tap it when you need it and spread your juice a long way.

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Put me through the gears.

One of the main objectives of the game is to pickup as many survivors as possible. Picking up survivors can be very tricky; you have to land near them and wait for them to board. This is when you need to be precise on how your landings. Drop too hard and you damage your ship and crush these poor bastards. The other factor when picking up survivors is that the enemies are attacking you.  The enemy’s stray shots and debris from enemy hulls will kill survivors. After picking up survivors and devastating a slew of enemies, you make your way to the end of the stage. The end of each stage is labeled with a black and white checkered flag line and is hard to miss once found.

Each stage has a unique layout and becomes more and more challenging as you progress.  You will need to develop a solid strategy to survive. There’s a co-op option in this game.  Wouldn’t it be easier to tackle this game with a buddy? How about three buddies? The co-op system is an excellent additive and will keep the replay value going for a very long time.

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Space Jam party.

The only thing Retrobooster was lacking was the story. It had potential to deliver a dark survival theme with a deep background story. This isn’t a deal breaker as the action is where it’s at. The enemy AI is predictable yet still challenging as the numbers increase and the tactics change. The enemies also seldom “pay out” with power-ups. Therefore, you are forced to use your powers ups for health and shield regeneration wisely.

The game looks like a million space bucks, shinny bright explosions with slick ship and enemy designs. The stages are sometimes bland and simple but this may be done to reflect the way space actually looks. The backgrounds look beautiful and are loaded with stars. Once the action starts, the last thing you are looking at is the scenery you’re focused on survival. Graphically, it has a loose look of Geometry Wars and it’s reminiscent of Star Control and even has elements of Asteroids. The sound effects are fitting and feel natural, unfortunately the music score is a bit painful and sounds like a throw back to 90’s techno, but to each their own.

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Retrobooster Review: In Space You Scream Often And Smash Your Controller
Retrobooster is stylish and fun and full of action and havoc. Each level is a blast from beginning to end. You will lose countless enjoyable hours on this fine game. Ultimately, Retrobooster stands on it’s own just fine and is unique in its own right.
The Good
  • Action Packed.
  • Beautiful Eye Candy.
  • Increasingly Challenging.
The Bad
  • Tough Controls.
  • Music Screams The 90's.
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)