LadiesGamers Project Starship X

Project Starship X Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Project Starship X
Genre: Action, Arcade
System: Nintendo Switch (also PC, PS4 and Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: Panda Indie Studio | eastasiasoft
Age Rating: EU 12+ | US Teen
Price: US $12.99 | UK £8.99 | EU €12.99
Release Date: January 27th 2021

Review code provided with many thanks to eastasiasoft

Laughing Through the Stars

Project Starship X is a vertical scrolling space shooter, with a comical art style and plenty of ludicrous action going on. It doesn’t appear to take itself too seriously but does it still make for an entertaining video game on Switch? Let’s shoot our way through space and find out.

LadiesGamers Project Starship X
One of the more comical interpretations of Cthulhu

There’s not a lot of story to Project Starship X. You initially select from four pilots each of which has a wacky animation to accompany it. It’s clear out of the gate that the game is hoping to get the giggles out of you. This humour extends into the game itself. The center of the screen showcases the space shooting action, whilst on the left and right side of the screen, you have an oversized graphic of your character reacting to it as you go.

The game parodies a lot of different things as you fly through the levels. Expect to see Cthulhu, the originally terrifying entity created by H.P Lovecraft, but now with a hat and sunspecs who sells you stuff between levels. There are also references to other video games, with a particular boss battle acting as a clear nod to the Super Mario series. The humour may work for some people but all it got from me was the odd smirk. The jokes just felt kinda forced and unnecessary at times. The graphics appropriately matched, everything feels very comic-like in this brightly coloured space adventure. The enemies are as bizarre as the jokes from eyeballs to skulls in space.

Accompanying this is an absolutely brilliant chip tune soundtrack. The music and sound effects of this game are very retro and suited the design well. 

LadiesGamers Project Starship X
Choose your player

Shoot and Dodge

The gameplay is pretty standard for a space shooter. You scroll through randomly generated space levels shooting enemies, avoiding hazards (which often give a warning signal first) and then there’s a big boss fight at the end.  As you play you can grab power ups to help your performance and health pickups to keep you in the game for longer. A lot happens on screen, so much so it can be very hard to keep track of what’s going on. I found it tolerable in single player but in two player co-op we  were constantly confusing our ships and struggled to keep track of where we each were in the level. 

LadiesGamers Project Starship X
Warning hazards incoming

Learn by Playing

The controls are simple to pick up. The game makes use of shooting and dodging. The former being pretty self explanatory for a space shooter whilst the later provides something a little different. By using the dodge you can avoid bullets and hazards but you can also dodge into enemies if a prompt appears destroying them in the process. While it works on paper I found it hard to control where my ship would dodge to. Sometimes in an attempt to dodge past a laser beam I would just dodge into the beam itself making it feel not as smooth as it could be.

LadiesGamers Project Starship X
This looks familiar

I managed to figure the controls out but the game gives almost no tuition on how to play it. In fact the game seems to revel in this fact, as in the guide section it advises people to just play the game to understand it. This works for some gamers but for those who are new to this genre or folk who just want to know the button prompts may not appreciate this take. At least the guide does provide advice you on character perks and the different game modes you can unlock.

LadiesGamers Project Starship X
Not the best guide

Your main incentive to replay the game is to go for high scores. This is not an easy space shooter. Expect to fail constantly and be a little uncertain as to why. There are additional game modes to unlock which are harder difficulties and a boss rush mode. There is also an additional character to unlock. I see this being a fun game to pick up now and then but overall it doesn’t feel as solid or accessible as other space shooters.

LadiesGamers Project Starship X
Story of my life with video games ‘GIT GUD’

To the Stars

Project Starship X is a wild and wacky space shooter that is enjoyable to play in small bursts. It sometimes feels more time was given to making the game funny than making it a more solid shooter. Some will get the joke but if you lean too heavily into this design some will certainly not.

If you’re looking for a game to play in short bursts with some rough edges then  Project Starship X is sure to provide an enjoyable and hopefully funny experience for you. 

Final Verdict: I like it

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