I’m sorry to say this because I love what Retrospec tried to do with this 2008 remake of Ultimate Play the Game‘s classic Alien 8, but the end result is unplayable, infuriating and flawed.
The graphics are really good and the music is great, but the gameplay sucks. Everything moves way too fast and jumps that were entirely possible in the original Alien 8 seem impossible in this. Which is ironic considering that the main problem with all the different official versions of Alien 8 is the crippling slowdown. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire!
Another problem is that the robot can’t make short jumps, as he does in the original. He only seems to have a long jump, which makes some jumps impossible. If there is a way of making short jumps, I couldn’t find it.
This remake has metallic surfaces, lighting effects and shadows, and all kinds of cool effects, but what’s the point of those if your game is basically unplayable? I recently spent days playing all the different versions of Alien 8 and have become fine-tuned to its subtleties. It’s a great game, but extremely difficult. Then I come to this version (last) and can’t believe what I’m playing. If only the developers had better regulated the speed of the game and not overlooked how important the short/long jump system is… I understand that this is a free game, probably made as a labour of love or as a programming exercise, but it is so frustrating to find a remake like this – with real potential – only to have it dashed by poor design decisions and gameplay oversights.
Sadly this remake is nothing more than a flawed novelty that you’ll play for a few minutes before giving up. It’s really not a game that anyone could or should play seriously. It is so frustrating that I want to shake the developer and shout loudly in their face: “You could’ve made a great game, but you f*cked it up!”
More: Alien 8 on Wikipedia
More: Alien 8 on Retrospec
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