Everyday Shooter is a creative and challenging game that’s both refreshingly unique and fun to play.
The success of Geometry Wars revitalized the dual-stick shooter genre and allowed the release of similar creative games. Everyday Shooter is the innovative creation of a single developer called Jonathan Mak, who programmed and designed a quite unique and engaging experience very reminiscent of old games like Robotron. In Everyday shooter your main objective is to move and shoot frantically to never-ending waves of enemies as you go through eight different stages. Initially, these seem pretty short, but each one presents a challenge different to the previous one. The game’s design is wonderful, the art style looks like a bizarre dream and the soundtrack has powerful guitar tracks. People with an open mind should try this game as its unusual aesthetic can be more than interesting.
At first, everything about the game seems dull and simple. After all, the menu is just a blue screen with a few options (normal play, single play, unlock extras and high score), but under these simple backgrounds and music there is an extremely fun and ingenious game to be found. You control a white dot which tries to destroy hundreds of shapes that come from different parts of the screen unceasingly. What’s interesting about Everyday Shooter is that you don’t have a score meter, but instead you collect tiny squares that act as a kind of currency. Each level, represented by a song bar, has a chain system and when done correctly you can acquire hundreds of these little pixels. Sometimes you’ll need to shoot at some specific enemies, while at other times you’ll have to shoot at bombs or objects that may explode causing a chain.
Additionally, you’ll fight giant eyes, little airplanes and some indescribable enemies that roam around. Everything in the levels is connected and it’s your job to find out the best way to acquire more points. Shooting at enemies constantly can be pretty hard, as it usually takes a few minutes to discover the way to kill certain foes and bosses. In fact, if you clearly understand how the basic chain system works you probably won’t feel frustrated, but the fact that there is wave after wave of enemies trying to kill you may be bad when you have only one life left and you are desperately trying to survive.
Nowadays, there are elements proper of dual-stick shooters that are expected in this kind of games. But in Everyday Shooter you won’t probably find them, there are no points, or leader boards, or a fun multiplayer component, or even bombs that you can use to kill every enemy on screen. It has some simple mechanics though, for example you move faster when you are not shooting, but even then it feels quite slow. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to collect all the little squares the enemies drop, and in this case a bomb that destroys everything would have been really helpful.
There are a bunch of unlockables that come in really handy, like extra lives, new backgrounds to play in stage mode and some visual filters and special effects. The unlockables motivate you to keep playing the same levels over and over without getting excessively boring. In addition, some of the flashy new backgrounds, effects and black and white filters prevent you from having the same experience once again. What’s really interesting is that even though there are no scores to beat, you win every time because you unlock more stuff or win more points.
The visual aspect of the game seems minimalistic and is one of the main reasons for the addictive nature of the game. Each level has a unique style to it and the background colors move and change continuously. Also, the audio part of the game is fascinating, as most of the actions you perform on screen affect the music directly. There may be a time or two when the mixture of sounds seems unpleasant, but it creates a charming effect that reflects your actions into actual sounds.
The PC version has all the features included in the PS3 version and even though the control scheme is accurate enough, playing with a keyboard is a totally different experience, mainly because the game was clearly designed to be played with a joystick and as a consequence it suffers when played on a PC. Actually, it’s not really that bad, but if you want to experience the game as it was meant to be played you should either play it on the PS3 or get a good analog joystick.
Everyday Shooter has an eccentric vibe that is both fresh and enjoyable. In any way, this game isn’t for everyone and even though most people can find it engaging some others may find it uninteresting and even annoying. But for those who are interested in a new game that retains some of the nostalgia of older games they should definitely try it out. Everyday Shooter may seem dull and slow at first, but after a while you’ll find out how addictive a simple game can be.