Syder Arcade HD review

Do you want some retro brain melting arcade shooter action in space? Yes please!

Shooters in space are usually in one direction only like seen in R-Type, Space Invaders Infinity Gene and hundreds other. Syder Arcade HD refuses to conform to that notion, and you can actually go both to the right, and then back to the left. Confusing I know, but somehow they managed to create such a thing. Wonder what comes next, perhaps something preposterous such as an endless runner going to the left instead of to the right?

Syder Arcade HD is a retro-game to the full extent of the concept, and feels like it could have been housed on a couple of floppy discs for my Amiga 500. The music hits right at those synapses in the brain indicating that this is going to be an intense experience so better fire off those neurons. The graphics harks back to the days of parallax scrolling, but everything is updated to the standard of today where you can actually distinguish objects from background.

Starting a level in Syder Arcade HD is not that easy, as you have to select from three different space craft. Speed, firepower or armour? A question not easy to respond to, as missions differ quite a bit in the game. Ranging from all out war to protect friendly ships for a set time there are places where speed is best, and others where a hull managing to handle incoming fire is best.

The controls are all touch based with a virtual stick for movement that is almost as responsive as my old the Boss joystick was. A turn button to fly in the opposite direction, and a super weapon fire button are all the controls needed. The rest is up to your reactions, ability to pinpoint what enemy to take down first and presence of mind to not cry when it gets too hard.

The level design is great varying objectives, and incoming baddies. Between the levels you get a slice of story by chatter between arrogant marines. Not really needed, but still it helps set a tone.

The presentation is top notch in every department. Music, sound effects and all the explosions just set off my synapses in the best possible way. Blasting away in space is just so fun when it is done right, and Syder Arcade HD nails it. That is if you have the hardware to run it.

What is missing from the game is what the notion of arcade eliminates: upgrades, mods and character development. This would really hook me hard if I had something to gain other than high scores, new levels and the salvation of mankind.

Syder Arcade HD is a no-nonsense shooter in space that makes for some truly intensely satisfying action. Not only brawn, but also some strategy to the mayhem, as it introduces different directions to travel and enemies that move in a bit random. I have had a blast playing this game, and it is easy to recommend to anyone. You don’t have to have experienced shooters on the Amiga to immediately grasp this retrotastic blaster.

Final Rating


Syder Arcade HD $0.99 Universal for iPad2+/iPhone 4S+/iPod Touch 4+

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