Frantic

I rarely recommend flash shooter games, but Frantic is rather good. It demonstrates several competencies in game development:

  1. It has auto-fire. How many games like this make you hold down a button to shoot? Or worse, click repeatedly? If the player is going to shoot constantly, with no reason not to, just turn on constant fire by default.
  2. Bullets everywhere. You are throwing out so much ammo that you can forget to dodge enemy attacks because you are distracted by how awesome you are. Use all the powers of this computer to make me feel mighty.
  3. Enemy attacks are entirely reasonable. For all the bright colors flying at you, at no point is being hit inevitable. You can beat the game on your first try without dying (I did). You can probably get through the whole thing without getting hit. This qualifies as the main negative: it is easy. But when a boss throws out hundreds of shots at once, you can still find a safe path through them. Excellent.
  4. You do not take damage for touching an enemy ship, just their shots. Not a terribly important thing, I just like any change on the standard “touch anything and die instantly.”
  5. You get enough money for the final set of upgrades just before the last level. The timing on that is perfect. You build over time, you get all your toys, you get one last run of being awesome with them, and then you are done. You do not farm gold to buy them, you do not keep doing the same thing after running out of shinies: cap, hit the final boss, go home the winner.

: Zubon

4 thoughts on “Frantic”

  1. I played the first three levels of this, and it’s awesome. I’ll have to make time to finish it later. Definitely a well-designed game. Even the minimalist design puts the focus where it should be; squarely on the great game play mechanics.

  2. I finally got around to beating this one. Tons of fun in ten little levels, this. Many thanks for pointing it out!

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