Tuesday Night Indie Spotlight #76: Graceful Explosion Machine | PS4 Gameplay
Tuesday night is indie night! This week, I (@piccolo930) fired up developer Vertex Pop's action-packed spaceship shooter, Graceful Explosion Machine.
I've really enjoyed my time with Graceful Explosion Machine so far. It's clearly been influenced by classic arcade games and developer Housemarque's exquisite catalog of action classics, which are two things I love very much, but it's also got a few unique ideas of its own that help it to stand out. I really like the game's aesthetic, first and foremost. The polygonal, geometric style of the visuals is sharp and full of flair, while the wide variety of colors and mellow techno soundtrack only add to the stellar presentation. The game runs great throughout as well, which is paramount in an arcade-style shooter such as this. I really like the subtle layer of strategy involved here, too. Your ship has access to a number of different weapons and abilities, and they're all important if you want to progress forward and earn the highest scores possible. I loved encountering a group of enemies and then deciding whether to use all of my energy to mow them down with the ultra powerful sniper beam, or be more methodic with my approach by unleashing the heat seeking missiles on my unsuspecting foes. A dash mechanic ripped right from the Housemarque playbook nicely rounds out your ship's available abilities. One thing I'm not entirely sold on yet is the "Flip" button. In order to turn your ship to face the opposite direction on the game's 2D plane, you need to hit the left trigger button. With the flip button and dash button mapped to the shoulder triggers, movement relegated to the left stick, and all of your various weapons on the face buttons of the controller, there's a lot to take in and keep in mind. In the heat of battle, it's really easy to hit the wrong button or flip when you're trying to dash as you try and keep all of your various commands in order. I can't help but wonder how much more intuitive this game would have been if you simply faced the direction you were pressing on the left stick at any given time (a la Resogun, a game that Graceful Explosion Machine shares much in common with). That said, I'm looking forward to playing more Graceful Explosion Machine. Its pick-up-and-play nature is going to make sure it stays in my gaming rotation for the long haul. If you've yet to check out Graceful Explosion Machine for yourself, take a look at the video below and see what it's all about!
If you have played Graceful Explosion Machine, let us know what you think about it in the comments below, and be sure to watch the Tuesday Night Indie Spotlight live, every Tuesday at 10pm EST on our YouTube channel!
Graceful Explosion Machine is available now on PS4, Switch, and PC!