Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe provides simple gameplay that’s pure in its essence and is far more addicting than anything I’ve played in recently memory. As a mobile title the game gets the job done in providing quick gameplay sessions through its sixty second time limit, but that doesn’t mean the action is forgettable as it’s often intense and does require some skill to earn a six digit score.
+ The style may be simple but the visuals serve as a nice throwback to the classic era of gaming.
+ Controls are super responsive.
+ Acquiring power-ups provides a nice level of depth to the game.
+ Sixty second time limit makes for an addicting experience since it’s easy to immediately want to top your prior score.
- Having a few more items/levels/enemies would be nice since it’s possible to unlock everything in one sitting.
Video games released in the 1980s were simple yet incredibly effective. It didn’t matter if a series of simple lines or blocks were used to represent a main character or a series of deadly asteroids since it all boiled down to one simple thing: how fun the game was.
Pure fun is an afterthought amongst some games today since half a dozen special elements or one particular mode needs to be in place otherwise people won’t even bother playing a particular game. However misguided some games and the tastes of gamers may be, the new PlayStation Mobile title Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe goes back to the old days of gaming in which direct fun and addictive gameplay was what counted the most.
The brainchild of former Activision Creative Director Jamie Fristrom, Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe is a twin-stick shooter with a few tricks that may surprise some folks. Earlier this generation gamers as a collective whole may have grown tired of the twin-stick shooter post Geometry Wars becoming an instant hit, but Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe manages to create an identity for itself which in the process makes shooting stuff so much fun that it felt like I was playing the genre for the first time ever.
Opting to take a more scaled back approach to things, Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe features an almost classical mixture of vector line graphics and simple shapes – namely giant cubes that can be shot into smaller cubes. With the player controlled vehicle/main character, if you want to call it such a thing, being a triangular shape, Sixty Second Shooter isn’t trying to wow anyone with its graphical abilities or constant array of colors and particle effects as was the case with Geometry Wars.
I’ll admit that the look in SSSD works in that easy to find things such as weapon power-ups or to differentiate between enemy types, of which there are a few. A bit of style is thrown into the game through a techno style option that’s unlocked which replaces the default black & white style in favor of one with an almost psychedelic collection of enemy and level colors without becoming too distracting. With the visual direction of SSSD being what it is and akin to classics such as Asteroids, the real standout of the game is how it managed to hook me in so much that I didn't put my Vita down for nearly two hours. It’s that damn addicting.
Ok, so we all know the basics of the twin-stick shooter genre as in most cases the left stick handles character movement while the right stick fires weapons/handles aiming. Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe follows that same outline and as far as nailing the basics the game does an excellent job. The movement feels tight and the aiming is precise; two things that need to be perfect in twin-stick shooting games. The addiction I had to SSSD came in how the game progresses since there were two things I had to keep some things in mind: I had only sixty seconds to play and I had to progress to different levels in order to net a high score.
As the name of the game implies, Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe is literally that – a sixty second shooting game. Having merely a minute to play a game as opposed to enduring countless waves or advancing through stages with boss entities may sound disappointing but ultimately that's the receipe which makes the game great. Upon playing the game I had a sense of urgency in a way as I wanted to transport to advanced stages, represented onscreen by a yellow portal, all while picking up power-ups such as missiles, shields, or detonating bombs in order to rack up massive 50+ chain combos.
Some difficulty was thrown my way as I had to deal with enemies that could fire at me, those that couldn’t be destroyed through normal means due to having shields, and of course a greater number of enemies appearing at once so things aren’t an immediate cakewalk. All that may sound like it’s a bit much to handle in a mere sixty seconds, but the formula that has been created works wonderfully.
There’s a slow burn in Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe since some of the advanced elements need to be unlocked via @Points, but once things such as the bomb and ability to start the game on a specific stage are unlocked everything in the game just clicks. Going through an area really quickly to start a pick up an item, start a combo, and detonate a bomb only to jump to another level while continuing the same mayhem is brilliant and it’s never too difficult to handle. In a few cases I did meet an untimely end due to an enemy popping out of nowhere – an occurrence that happens a lot since everything in the game is procedurally generated so nothing ever plays out the same way, thus insuring I experienced something completely fresh each time I pressed the Start button.
With its simple yet addicting gameplay that makes for perfect quick sessions, Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe may not be an amazing revelation within the games industry but it’s a title that encapsulates how fun can be had in even the simplest of forms. Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe is a nice throwback to the era of gaming in which the industry and gamers weren’t as superficial as they are now, and in the process that provides one of the best games to appear on the PlayStation Mobile platform thus far.