PixelJunk Shooter is a dual stick shooter that is a joy to play. The controls are simple. Left stick for movement, right stick for aim. Right trigger for shooting, holding the trigger will unleash missiles. The catch is that missiles will overheat your ship. Cave ship. Not a space ship. The left trigger sends out a grappling hook to pick up stranded miners, which is the objective of the game. When you get the stranded miners, it opens a door to the next level. Each ‘stage’ has a few levels in it.
The real selling point of this game is the incredible interaction that you have with the environment. You can destroy soft terrain. Your bullets will take out chunks and not the entire terrain / wall. There is water that is fluid and dynamic. It will also cool down your ship when it overheats. There are enemies and lava. The lava flows just as the water, makes your ship overheat and when it meets water, they bond together to form soft terrain that you can destroy. Its such a nice dynamic.
There are powerups to keep your ship cool from the lava’s heat. There are objects that you can grapple and tow around, such as a water bomb, good for drowning a volcano. There is a watercan object that you fill in water or lava, and when you take it out, it showers whatever liquid you have in it. Again, there is a lot of interactivity in the game.
This is a game that rewards and encourages exploration. If it looks like there is a way off screen, that’s probably a secret area with the game’s main collectable diamonds. Well you need diamonds to progress past a certain stage. You will have to go back and play each stage a few times in order to collect enough hidden diamonds. While it might seem like a downer to replay stages and levels, its all fun. Nothing seems like a chore. Its soothing, relaxing, nice to look at and with the incredible interactivity that you have with your environment, no playthrough is really the same.
On top of it all, the game sets itself apart with its art style. Its a beautiful, simple style instead of typical dualstick shooters that overload you on bright visual effects.
It is well worth the price and you can probably pick it up in an indie bundle. I’ve also got the sequil on PSN and personally, I think this it better.