Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Psychic Arrow --- Flash Ryview

Psychic Arrow, by Iconic Games.

Psychic Arrow is a launch game where the player controls an arrow to attack a fleet of marauding pirates. Along the way the arrow picks up souls (for currency), which the player uses to upgrades various skills. As far as launch titles go, this does not add any particularly impressive new features, and the gameplay was a little stale. There weren't enough enemies to keep the game interesting and each launch just felt like the same thing over and over, with very little to keep you entertained until you fire again.

I usually categorize launch titles by how much control you have over your projectile once its launched. Some classics like Hedgehog Launch are really very dependent on how you control your hedgehog. Others, like Toss the Turtle, is really more based on the luck of the enemies rather than user control. Psychic Arrow falls into the control category, although the level of control is still fairly simplistic. The arrow follows your mouse, forcing you to direct it towards souls and floating powerups. The best feature, in my opinion, is the end of round bonus where you try to hit the pirate and/or his ship after you've run out of power. It offers a nice little bonus and it's a fun challenge.

I'm not sure what that balloon pirate is trying to achieve...

The upgrade system isn't too bad, but like most launch titles, I feel like it leaves little to strategy. All the upgrades are linear, and the game is scaled in such a way that you really usually want to upgrade them all along the same levels (upgrades all to level 2, then all to level 3) because the magnitude increases wildly. I had to grind for awhile in the beginning before I had any meaningful gameplay changes, but I will say after you upgrade the arrow speed or the gas tank (it's not called that, but it's definitely a gas tank) you definitely see a huge uptick in progress.

Unfortunately, the game was devoid of excitement during the launches. The search for souls is the main mechanic, and there are a few powerups to hit, but the powerups are not super common until very late in the game, and collecting the souls really doesn't keep the game very exciting. There are basically no enemies in the air (there are some birds and some floating pirates, but they do nothing to injure you and they more or less function as souls) and there's really not much that changes otherwise. As I mentioned, at the end of your run you try to hit a pirate, but that's the most action you see the entire round.

Even with all those upgrades, the arrow still doesn't have much to do in the air.

Honestly, I played through the whole game, and while I do think the end was more fun than the beginning, I really don't think the ending justified slogging through the unforgiving early portions, which were really just too boring to be satisfying. Is it worth a playthrough? I think there are much better launch titles out there.


Time Value
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Final Score

Let me know what you think of Psychic Arrow (if you decide to play it)!

Until next time,


Pictures courtesy of Iconic Games

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