Title: Q-Yo Blaster
Developer: Robot Black Hat
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Genre: Shooter, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 12+
Release Date: 27/06/19
Price: £8.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Take the cult classic game R-Type, now change the spaceships for hamsters with lasers. Let that image set in for a moment. Q-Yo Blaster is a game that has been brought to life thanks to the crowdfunding efforts over at Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You play as one of many characters who have been tasked with the role of saving the earth now that insect invaders have arrived. The story is simple, and the gameplay is simple too. Q-Yo Blaster is a game that screams pick up and play but is let down by a few things that stop it from being anything more than an average game.
As with most shoot ‘em ups, the goal is to destroy everything on screen while avoiding the bullet hell that comes towards you. When an enemy blows up, it will leave behind a gem, collect enough of these to be able to fire off a more powerful attack. As the screen fills with bullets, let off your “pulse” mechanic (which builds with item pickups) to turn all enemy bullets into gems to collect. While you fire off at enemies, you’ll be building up another bar to allow for another special ability that is chosen before entering the fray.
Speaking of choices, you’ll have the ability to choose from numerous characters that fit the criteria of “Endurance”, “Damage” and “Mix”. Each has its own look on screen, as well as their own individual style of bullets. From humans to robots, to hamsters called “Mr Cheeks”, one thing you can’t criticise Q-Yo Blaster for is that it’s not afraid to make some out-there choices (however, are all of these characters unique enough to warrant their existence? sadly the answer is no).
Enemies come in all shapes and sizes, from ladybirds on rocks to giant alien monsters that resemble wild west bandits, they aren’t your usual space shooter enemies. The game comes with two game styles and two difficulties, all of which offer a considerable challenge to even the most experienced shoot ‘em up fan. That said, this game is only ten levels long, but a multiplayer option is thrown in to help spice up the gameplay.
Graphically, this game is very basic. This is definitely a unique art-style. However, it certainly doesn’t grab attention for the right reasons. Without being rude, it feels as though the visual presentation was something that was not given a high budget. Thick black outlines, simplistic designs and often hard to read text ensure this is not the most visually appealing game. However, even with this basic art style, the game still experiences multiple frame drops during gameplay (even when the screen isn’t busy).
Usually, this would be something that could be overlooked, but in a game like this, it’s hard to let it slip with how basic the graphics are. This is an annoying thing when you consider how unique and special the actual characters and enemies are. Imagine a game that wanted to look like Cup Head, but didn’t have the budget. The audio is fine, and that’s it, no more, no less. A forgettable soundtrack and lacklustre sound effects neither add nor take away from this experience.
Q-Yo Blaster is a decent shoot ‘em up experience that is let down by performance issues and clumsy presentation. If you’re looking for a bullet hell game, there are better ones out there. But if you fancy taking a hamster with a laser into battle, wait for a sale and give Q-Yo Blaster a try.
Rapid Reviews Rating
Q-Yo Blaster can be purchased for the Nintendo Switch at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Q-YO-Blaster-1584107.html#Overview
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.