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JadeDragon's reviews and playing tips: Sharp Zaurus Linux games

Space Guppy by The Robot Collective, Price: $5
Reviewed May 2003

Developed for the Zaurus PDA, Space Guppy brings back the old arcade Alien Invader game to a new platform, sporting colorful graphics with smooth animation and various new alien faces! Even though the game play in Space Guppy is very similar to the classic, there are some additional features that will surprise the Invader vets.

There are eight stages in this game with a boss fight at the end of each level. The alien formation, the shield and the saucer should look familiar to Invader fans. With each level advance, you will see an increase in the number of aliens and the speed of their attack. When you wipe out all the waves of invaders, you’ll see a large guppy dancing on the screen and spitting out suicide aliens who don’t stay in formation. They will charge at you in mob and want to take you out with no regard to their own lives. You need to dodge the guppy and the aliens to survive while shooting them down. The game is controlled entirely by the D-pad on your Z. The directional buttons control your ship’s movement; the action button in the middle of the D-pad fires your ship’s gun.

The shields in Space Guppy play a bigger role than the ones in the original Invader games. They act like shields plus when you sacrifice the shields you get extra lives and power ups such as space rockets. You can then shoot the saucer to get more shields and power ups. There’s one cheat code for those who need additional fire power. You can find it here, but you should really try to beat the game on your own.

The graphics are sharp; the animations are smooth. The alien faces and shapes are nicely created and you will have no trouble seeing them clearly even when they are moving at high speed. The Guppy boss is a very nice touch to add some variety in game play and give something new to Invader vets.

The sound FX added in the new version goes well with the graphics and animation, making this game a complete package for a creative remake title. Space Guppy supports both SL-5500 and SL-5600. We tested the game on the SL-5600 and found that it runs smoothly.

Playing Hints and Tips

In the later levels, you need to plan your positions so that you can get a few aliens to hit the shields without getting to you. For the cheat code, see our game Walkthrough board.



screen shot

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics Nice rendition of an old classic with new alien creatures that look better than the original game.
Sound The newly added sound FX helps to create the game environment.
Fun Meter The classic Invader faithful will cheer for the Zaurus remake. The sharp graphics and Guppy boss will attract a good number of gamers. It’s a bit too easy the first half of the game, which makes the game seem short.
Addictivity The game is very easy to pick up and play.

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