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Described by the author as a shmup without the shooting, xWUNG presents a retro playfield straight from the days of early arcades with vector graphics and chippy tweets and bleeps. The easiest comparison is to Asteroids, since they are both primarily concerned with dismantling large targets and avoiding being caught in the debris. Here, however, once the target has been struck and the pieces fly, you have no need to further diminish them.

A profounder difference lies in the tools in your toolbox; rather than a gun, your weapon is a weighted wire, swung and twirled around your vessel at varying lengths, depending on the vigorousness of the swirl. If either the weight or the wire touches an enemy, they discombobulate in a shower of rectangular parts, deadly to the touch. (A power-up, a yellow counter-weight with its own wire opposite your red weapon's, is ineffective against enemies but dissolves debris on contact.) Your ship also has no acceleration or deceleration -- both the movement of the ship and the trajectory of the weapon are directed by precise mouse movements.

Further simple game dynamics include combo tracking (of multiple enemy death through a single swing of your astro-bolo) and sporadic boss battles.

(To finally distance ourselves from the mechanics of Asteroids, it's important to note that the single-screen playfield does not wrap around at the edges.)


xWUNG Windows Title screen
xWUNG Browser As the enemies explode, now they release dangerous debris!
xWUNG Browser A palpable hit!
xWUNG Windows Combo bonuses result when multiple enemies are overcome with a single swing of the wire

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The total development time of the game was under 24 hours, belying a minimalistic implementation of a simple concept.

Related Web Sites

  • Download xWUNG (Free, legal download of xWUNG and many other Cactus games.)
  • Play xWUNG online! (Free, legal play of the game through your Flash-equipped web browser from the authors' website.)
Contributed to by Pseudo_Intellectual (64072)
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