The majority of games I play now tend to have involved stories, lots of deep, branching mechanics and a sense of progression. Every now and then though, it can be a whole lot of fun to play something simple that kills a few minutes here and there. Chain Blaster fits the bill for the latter description just about perfectly.
This is a 3DS eShop that comes along at a pretty inexpensive price, but provides a fun gaming premise. At first glance, it really reminded me of Galaga in the way you occupy a single screen and fend off wave after wave of fairly generic enemies.
Trust me, the generic part, or repetitious part is evident. I do not mind that for brief periods of time, but if you cannot stand repetitive graphics, sound effects or music – then this probably is not the game for you. The graphics look pretty good for what they are, but you are not going to encounter a lot of variety. You will be flying around in black space shooting at lots of enemies.
The shooting mechanic however, is where Chain Blaster distinguishes itself quite a bit. You have a basic cannon you can fire away with, but you have Chain Blasts which can take out entire waves if you use them right. They are a bit hard to describe, but basically think of them as not necessarily your primary weapon, but your most effective and entertaining. It helps that you can get a variant ship with a variant chaining mechanic after you have played for a time, though another two ships like this would have gone a long ways toward mixing things up further.
There is no true endgame – you are competing against the rest of the world in score and chain combination. This is all well and good, but I am never going to top a world leader list in anything (the closest I have ever come is being number 2 in a board on Peggle) – so it would have been nice to see your friends’ scores so you could compete against them more directly.
Having recently been playing Star Fox 64 3D, the space shooter comparison wants to spring to mind, but there is not much of similarity here. Short bursts of shooting action versus a full on game. That being said, there is also a significant price difference, and that should be taken into account. Overall, I would score this about a 6.5 out of 10. Fun for short bursts of time, but not engaging enough to keep me coming back for more for very long.
Review by Nick