Armed and Gelatinous is a strategy, action and indie game where players of 2-4 players can engage each other in space as forms of alien life forms. As one of these alien life blobs the player absorbs a variety of weapons that help boosts the player’s firepower and size, this in turn with e dodging bullets adds for a fun sense of gameplay. The arcade space shooter was created by Three Flip Studios who previously developed Influent. In time of writing this review the game is currently Early Access yet shows promise of a unique indie-shooter that promotes social and casual couch play with friends. The game does not at the time of this review a single-player mode nor does the steam store page state any different from the developer.
The plot of the story revolves around Earth managing to restore World Peace as every weapon is loaded onto a massive rocket and shot into space. This massive rocket of weapons comes into contact with these space blobs who proceed to get ahold of them and become trigger-happy as they turn onto one another.
The gameplay revolves around picking up weapons in the game to grow bigger and gain more fire-power. This puts the emphasizes on collecting as many weapons as possible in order to win the game. Some of the game modes add variation to this such as soccer for example, other game modes are stock and timed. Armed and Gelationous (AG) has a fluid and dynamic system of gameplay where the firepower feels powerful, the concept of dodging bullets and growing bigger adds another element of game mechanics on top of the shooter. However, what can be expected from the game is that some weapons feel under-powered while others over-powered, in example the pump shotgun felt particularly useless beyond the first minute of the game because of the huge range of weapons this game provides. While growing in size and firepower can ensure victory, it also means players will find it harder to dodge and thus become a bigger target for the other players. One of the biggest issues the game faces is that it does not other a single-player mode at all, it was disappointing that a game with potential to allow players to grow and further advance does not encourage a single-player adventure/campaign where players can become bigger. Some players will be discouraged that the game is local multiplayer only and does not currently support online multiplayer or single-play.
While the game provides a variety of game modes, many of them play the same such as stock and timed. An exception to this is the soccer mode but the game falters most at providing replayability value. The issue Armed and Gelationous has is that the gameplay does not alter or vary enough to keep players interested, without the option to customize game modes, host lobbies or single-player the longevity of this game will last an hour or two at most.
In relation to graphics the game shares an aesthetic style and visuals reminiscent of the worms franchise. The minimal detail but cel-shaded style gives the game a certain flare. The environments of space could have used more variation as they look repetitive and disinteresting as it knacks the incentive to show off the true vibrancy of space itself.
In conclusion, Armed and Gelatinous is a visually stylised game that appeals to those who enjoy shooters that emphasize gameplay beyond shooting. The concept of growing in size while obtaining firepower is a unique idea in the indie-shooter scene. However, Armed and Gelatinous falls short in replayability as environments and gameplay become repetitive. The party-focused couch play Three Flip Studios was aiming for could have used more emphasizes on variety of gameplay and single-player. The game feels like it lacks a lot of features and options to customize the game or lobbies. Perhaps the biggest down-fall of a game like this is that it does not feature a single player, tutorial or an additional challenge mode which other similar visually similar games like Worms has shown that it adds a tons of hours into the longevity of the game. At the moment the price does not justify the lack of options and single player mode, however fans of the indie-scene will certainly enjoy this unique space shooter.
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