10 for 9 in '08 - Earth Day

Continuing the coverage of my "lost article" from the last issue of Smartphone & PocketPC magazine we have my top pick for the category of "Classic Arcade" from the 2008 awards.  In this case I picked Earth Day, which was actually the first eSoft Interactive game I ever reviewed, even though I had been a fan of theirs for quite some time.  For the simple premise behind Earth Day, it was quite an addictive thrill ride.  Here's what I thought of it...

The problem with the Classic Arcade category is that the games generally tend to be remakes, and many developers feel like they can rest on the laurels of the games’ predecessors. Thankfully, eSoft Interactive didn’t take that approach when developing Earth Day for Windows Mobile. The premise is simple: you must defend the Earth as long as possible by shooting all of the advancing enemies. To aid you in your quest, you receive power-ups ranging from a freeze bomb that temporarily halts the movements of all enemies to a bomb that eliminates all enemies on screen.

The ultimate ray of destruction

What sets Earth Day apart, however, is its innovative point system. You start out with three points that can be divided among five different skills, and along the way you can gain additional points. The beauty is that no choice is permanent, so if you decide at one juncture in the game that a particular skill would be more useful than another, take the points away from one skill and add them to the one you want to bolster. Also, unlike many games that will throw wave after wave of the same enemies at you, it seemed like a new enemy sprung up in Earth Day every couple of minutes.

While the graphics weren’t spectacular, the special effects were pretty cool, and the overall look of the game was very polished. The sound effects enhanced the atmosphere, and the soundtrack, while repetitive after a while, was well written. What made this game shine was the combination of simple game play and the need to strategically allocate skill points.

Syndicate content