Death Ray Manta is a quick, punchy title that sucks you in with its ridiculously amazing visuals and keeps you engaged by offering addictive gameplay. One struggles to develop a more in-depth critique of the game when the bright, flashing neon colours are such a large part of the game. In the games own words, DRM (which ironically is DRM free) is an “arena shooter where you blow stuff up and make pretty colours.” (Colours, not colors because we’re from Great Britain, the land of Flib-Flobs and Crumpets.)
Designed to be a game to pump a couple of hours into when you’ve got spare time, DRM implements an addictive play style similar to games like The Impossible Game. You only have one life, and if you lose that life by colliding with a wall, enemy, or getting hit by an attack, then you start right back from square one which is the first level. While this is addictive, it is as equally infuriating. You begin to memorize the format of earlier levels. At first this allows you to breeze past them like so many grunts in a covenant onslaught, but after playing for a while you begin to get lazy and lose focus, making mistakes on the simpler levels through over familiarity that leads to overconfidence in your own skills.
Currently in development, the developer provided us with a todo list, assuring us that the final product will consist of 32 levels, meaning a players total score can reach 64; one point for completing a ‘astrozone’ and an additional point for collecting the level’s ‘spacetiffins’, which increase your firepower and cause the screen to spew colour in every direction. Not to be one to advocate drugs, if you were going to play a game on acid, this would be that game.
Bag Full Of Wrong also promises score saving, improved sound effects, and an options menu, because currently that is something the game lacks. Before I found the handy note that explains the games controls within the ZIP file, I simply had to guess at which button did what. Unfortunately, I guessed wrong. The game’s title screen instructs players to “press fire to start”. Naturally, I pressed space, assuming that’s what fire did, but when the game started and a tried firing with the spacebar, nothing happened. I spent hours playing the game, assuming that you learned how to fire later in the game.
When I finally stumbled across some controls that worked (RDFG to move, 5 on the num pad to fire), I did start enjoying the game, but I found them far too responsive to traverse the intricacies of each level while simultaneously being dazzled by explosive visuals. For a game that requires you to nimbly avoid obstacles, the sensitivity had me making more forced errors than… some amusing tennis analogy. (I don’t know, I don’t really watch tennis, but I know they make forced errors.) Apparently the final edition will allow you to use an Xbox controller, so that may solve this particular issue.
Is It Worth Your Money?
Death Ray Manta is a quick, punchy title that sucks you in with its ridiculously amazing visuals and keeps you there with addictive and challenging gameplay. Available as part of a bundle for $5.99 (Or $2 if you’re a cheapskate), this game feels like it should be on a mobile device, in the sense that it’s a great title to pick up and play when you’re stuck between lengthy titles.