I love biscuits and neon colors; combine those two and you get Son of Scoregasm, a twin-stick shooter by Charles Knight available on both PS Vita and PC. A one-person team is responsible for the entire project, so I was interested to see the fruit of Charles’ labor, especially as I lack the knowledge and skills necessary to create such games. I dove in not knowing what to expect from a game that looked like an update of the classic 80s-era arcade shooters. But, you know, with more biscuits.
Twin-stick shooters excel in the area of twitchy gameplay, which is a nice choice given how frantic the action in Scoregasm can get. There’s a circle focused around your ship displaying how often a pulse attack can be used. Each of these components are meant to be used with one another, the pulse attack helping you rack up high scores and find breathing room when the onslaught of enemies becomes too thick. As you progress the environment changes from simple shapes like squares, circles, and triangles to crazy squiggles you have to navigate to defeat your enemies. My favorite levels had to be those where I had to move large rolling pins with spikes in them to crush my enemies.
Levels are interlinked with each other with the option of choosing an easier experience or going with a more hardcore option as you progress. Two portals will open up at the end of each level, green being the “easy” route and red being the “hard” route. I liked this foresight since it allowed me to enjoy learning how to attack enemies and learn the mechanics and not feel “locked in” to a level I was playing. Once a level is completed you can even head back to it later and replay it to open up another path for a different route. This non-linear touch is a nice addition to a genre I would usually avoid otherwise.
Even better, the game never seems static in ways that would otherwise “feel” flat. It’s difficult to explain unless you’ve actually played the game like I have, but everything from the ship to the enemies you fight appear to be “floating” in space. This made the game feel incredibly smooth, making it appear as if the dynamic colors were about to leap out of the screen. There’s a depth of field added in that gave moving objects substance and helped make it more dynamic.
If combining shards of neon colors flying around with twin-stick shooters sound like your idea of a great time, I can’t recommend Son of Scoregasm enough. While I don’t possess the skills to breeze through levels like a pro, this psychedelic game never frustrated me to the point of hurling my controller across the room. It’s a fun distraction paired with genius design that keeps things fresh and inclusive to players of all skill levels.