Space Ark has recently hit Xbox Arcade from Strawdog Studios. At its core Space Ark has been heavily influenced by titles such as Arkanoid. You have your paddle at the bottom of the screen and then you have an animal that bounces on this pad to try and hit the “bricks” that are scattered around the level. One of the twists in this particular game is that you have to use both analog sticks. You use the left analog stick to control the paddle at the bottom of the screen while simultaneously using the right analog stick to control your character’s flight path. You can somewhat control what direction your character heads while he is airborne which can be crucial at times if you only have a couple of more bricks to get before the exit opens up. It’s a fantastic idea and helps make the game feel new again rather than just another clone.
The basic premise of this game is that there are some planets that are in trouble and you need to terraform them so that your animals have a place to live. The way that you terraform them is buy completing a set number of missions on every planet. In order to successfully complete a mission and terraform the planet you will need to hit a specific combo. If at the beginning of the stage it says that your goal is a 50 hit combo then you need to hit at least that in order to terraform the planet. There are a bunch of different animals to work with on each planet and each one is representative of the type of planet you are on. An example of this would be one of the first planets you go to is stuck in the Ice Age. With that being the case the animals you deal with are a penguin, snow fox and more. As you progress through the game you will unlock more planets and up to twenty four unlockable characters. There are leaderboards in this game so you can compete with your friends and you are immediately told after you complete a stage whether you beat your friend’s score or not. There are three different modes in the game with “Mission Mode” being your campaign. You then have Time Attack mode where you have to race to collect everything in the level and see how quickly you can do it. Then there is the Survival mode where you have to collect fruit combos to extend your timer and see how long you can last. If the timer runs out it’s game over. You are also told how far along in the game you are so you always know where you stand.
Overall, Space Ark is an enjoyable title and a great addition to Xbox Live Arcade. It’s a new take on an old formula and the developer has succeeded in creating a enjoyable title. As with every game on Xbox Live Arcade I would highly recommend that you give this game a chance by downloading the demo. If you like the demo the full game is worth the 800 Microsoft points. Space Ark is a great game to play if you only have a couple of minutes and you want to play something quickly. It’s also easy to find yourself competing with your friends to see who can get the highest score in a world. Be sure not to miss out on this title.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network