DescriptionPixelJunk Shooter is a 2D shooter in the PixelJunk series where the player controls a space ship. In the distant future the human race has colonized planets all over the galaxy and large corporations constantly launch expeditions in search for new energy sources. One of the ships receives a distress signal from the planet Apoxus Prime with large mineral deposits. A small scavenger ship is sent in to investigate the signal from the mining colony established there.
The game consists of three large environments, split up into different levels with multiple areas for each one. Levels are unlocked gradually from a main map screen. The main goal is to save all survivors and collect as many gems as possible along the way. For a certain amount of gems collected a new level is opened up. A typical environment consists of a small area where the ship can be moved in any direction with the screen scrolling both vertically and horizontally. The ship can shoot enemies in any direction and a secondary function is used to grab a survivor with an extension from the ship when nearby. The grab function is also used to collect gems. When all survivors are rescued, a gate is opened and the ship can proceed to the next area until the entire level is completed. Rescuing all survivors is not required; when one dies because of the player's ship's weapon, enemies or environmental hazards, the gate still opens when there are no more survivors alive. Levels can be replayed to improve the score.
Physics play an important role in survival. There are different liquids such as water, magma, ice, gas and oil each with specific properties. The first large environment introduces water and magma, the second one adds ice and gas, and the final one throws oil in the mix. There are also rocks that can be shot to create a passage. By quickly spinning around, the ship can also break through rock. Players have to experiment with how the different substances react. For instance: water cools down magma, creating rock that can be shot, gas is inflammable when combined with magma, and magma can be used to break through ice. The ship has a basic shooting option and by holding it homing rockets are activated. These however fill up a meter with four bars in the bottom left corner. When full, the ship explodes and the level needs to be restarted. The fourth 'danger' bar is also reached right away when the ship comes in contact with a dangerous substance or is shot. By moving away from danger, or by going into water or ice, the ship can be cooled down, depleting the meter.
There are various ways to manipulate substances. Hatches can be pulled open with the grab function, rocks can be shot to release the substance above, and later levels introduce portals, magnets, lasers, portable substance containers that can be filled up and released, and enemies that carry them. Certain areas have a station where the ship receives a new suit, usually completely altering the gameplay. For instance, while wearing the inverted suit the ship shoots magma and needs to cool down in fire, as water and ice damage the ship. Other suits are a water suit (also used to create ice) and a magnetic suit to push around oil. The ship has to be careful not to damage itself and the substances can also be used to kill enemies. Shields can be grabbed to allow for a hit without filling the meter.
Destroyed enemies leave behind three types of star coins. They form combos when picked up in succession and for every hundred coins an additional life is provided. Extra lives can be found in the levels as well. There are also many secrets areas and gems hidden away below rocks, in ice or at the bottom of pools. At the end of each large environment a boss needs to be defeated. The game includes a local cooperative mode for up to two players. The levels are identical, but players share available lives and can work together. When the meter is full and the ship would crash in single-player, the other player can use the grab function to quickly save the ship by dumping it in a safe environment, preventing the loss of a life. Also unlike single-player, an area does not need to be restarted when one of the ships crashes.
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Related Web Sites
- PixelJunk Shooter (official website)
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