Red Siren: Space Defense Review
Title: Red Siren: Space Defense
Developer: isTom Games
Publisher: isTom Games
Genre: Action, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 7
Release Date: 04/06/2019
Price: £8.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Red Siren: Space Defense is set in a futuristic environment where you must defend your base at all costs against approaching forces! Use your warships to pepper enemies with machine gun fire, special weapons bombs and missiles, and don’t let them destroy your base!
The gameplay in Red Siren: Space Defense is all about protecting your fragile base from approaching forces. You get to control 4 unique ships to defend the strip where your bases are located, as approaching enemy forces move from both sides to attack you. You are going to be multi-tasking from both sides of the playing field as you fly back and forth to destroy all enemies using various weaponry.
Not your typical defence title, Red Siren: Space Defense has you moving from left to right to destroy approaching forces before they make it to the base in the middle of each level. Your base is quite fragile, and a few shots from any enemy will see it destroyed. There is a radar bar located at the top of the screen showing you both sides of the playing field. Each golden icon represents a group of enemies approaching. The icons don’t, however, give you any clue as to what types of enemies there are within that line, so always be prepared before engagement.
It can become quite thrilling as you dodge back and forth between groups of hostile targets. If you here an alert then it means a group of enemies are at your front door: you should then head straight to your base. It is a thrilling joy-ride once you’re in combat as you dodge fire, then return the favour with a bombardment of your own arsenal. Some weapons can feel quite meaty while others don’t pack as much of a punch.
You can make use of a variety of different weapons such as machine guns, special weapons, bombs and missiles, all of which can be upgraded within your hanger with the cash you earn from missions and ranking up. Each ship has multiple levels of upgrade, and you’ll see visible change as you upgrade them. Also, each weapon slot for your 4 different weapons can be upgraded too, or you can select and buy new armaments which all increase in power and expense.
It can become a little grinding as you try to earn enough money to buy new parts or weapons especially as upgrading is essential, with enemies becoming increasingly more difficult to kill as you move through the levels. Having the best weapons is advised, as well upgrading them as much as possible: otherwise, you will find yourself seeing the ‘Game Over’ screen a lot.
The controls in Red Siren: Space Defense are pretty easy to get to grips with. You can control your ship with the left analogue stick and shoot your machine guns with the right stick. You can also fire your special attack with the A button once you’ve purchased it and use your bombs with the ZL trigger and your missiles with the ZR trigger – that’s pretty much it! If you hold the stick left or right, your ships engines will kick in, sending you careening in a straight line which looks cool and helps move quicker to a new location. You move freely and dodge incoming fire with the left analogue stick and fire in all directions with the right stick.
Power-ups will drop now and again from enemies that will buff your ships shields, health or provide a faster rate of firepower for a brief time. These are particularly helpful in tough situations. It does feel thrilling zipping back and forth, and enemy waves can be challenging to dispatch if you’re not adequately upgraded. There are 25 levels to play through, each in different locations with different enemies to kill. That being said, it’s the same back and forth gameplay present throughout.
Some levels have branching paths, but you always continue back on the same road. There are extra objectives on each level to keep things interesting. Three stars can be achieved in each level for completing a challenge such as not getting hit for a certain amount of time or not dying. These add a little incentive to replay levels to earn all stars. Completing these will see you levelling up and earning new medals and titles, and more cash to spend within the hanger. This area of collecting all the stars will increase the replayability of Red Siren: Space Defense. I wish there were some online leaderboards to extend this area, but they are absent here.
Unfortunately, Red Siren: Space Defense doesn’t support any multiplayer, which is a shame. I don’t think local multiplayer would have worked here, but online might have. It is a shame that there’s nothing apart from the core mode available here. Essentially, it means that after you’ve completed all 25 levels and got all the stars and upgrades, you may have had your fill of Red Siren: Space Defense.
It is worth noting that the game costs £8.99 so it’s quite a cheap price point, and one that I think is worth the investment, especially as its a pretty decent shooter/defence title. Update – apparently this is a free-to-play title on the mobile market so I just thought I would make you aware of that fact.
Red Siren: Space Defense does have its shortcomings: no multiplayer, no online leaderboards and the game can become repetitive after a fair while. However, while it lasts, Red Siren: Space Defense can be pretty fun if you love blowing stuff up while defending structures.
The music is your typical dark, gritty soundtrack with a sci-fi theme running throughout. For the most part, they play well with the atmosphere of Red Siren: Space Defense. However, during play, the music takes a back seat as the sounds you’ll be hearing more often than not are your weapons, and a woman’s voice alerting you to the locations of enemies within the playfield. There is something strange about the woman’s voice that feels a little off, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Visually, Red Siren: Space Defense is pretty decent.
All the backgrounds have a sci-fi look to them and feel somewhat gritty too, which I like. I also like the sense of speed when your engines kick in – it is cool! The explosions and other details look good as well.
I like Red Siren: Space Defense. It’s a great title to pick up and blow stuff up. With its defence-like nature, people who enjoy tower defence titles will also probably like the change of pace. There are 25 levels, four ships, a plethora of weapons to buy and upgrade, medals to earn, and levelling up included. When things become hectic, the gameplay can be fun…just to be aware that the game can become a little repetitive after awhile. There are no multiplayer or online leaderboards available, and I have found out that it’s a free-to-play title on mobile. This fact makes it a little harder to recommend wholeheartedly.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Red Siren: Space Defense from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Red-Siren-Space-Defense-1567348.html