Game: Black Paradox
Genre: Rogue-like Shooter
System: Switch, Steam & PS4
Developer/ Publisher: Fantastico Studios / Digerati
Age Rating: EU: 7+| USA: E
Price: €14.99| £13.49| $14.99
Release Date: 29th April 2019
Thanks to Digerati for the review code!
Black Paradox is a side scrolling shooter where you pilot a rocket car through space on a mission to beat the bandits. Shoot your way past a never ending onslaught of ships and face off against the galaxy’s strongest.
Black Paradox is the gent behind the wheel of a Delorean-esque flying car that shoots bullets at oncoming foes. Your main objective is to survive until the end of each stage which also includes a boss battle before whizzing off to begin again against greater odds and another powerful boss.
On your way you navigate your ship around the screen, evading enemy fire and shooting down all oncoming obstacles. As well as enemy ships there are asteroids and other stage hazards to avoid. Being a rouge-like, no stage is quite the same as the game randomises each level so every attempt will be different. Ultimately you are challenged to clear all stages in one without perishing, but fear not as you can retry as much as you like.
Pimp My Ride!
It’s not long before you ditch your default basic gunfire for something with more pizazz. There is a large variety of weapons, including; rockets, lasers, darts and even musical notes. They’re dropped by the cargo ships once a level and are completely random. Each have their pros and cons so it’s worth trying them all out. As well as different weapons, defeating the bosses also produces a choice of buffs for the next stage. They include stat increases, assist drones and other various effects. You may also be invited to a secret battle against a familiar face, though be warned, it’s a very intense fight!
Lastly, there are upgrades to your ship in the form of computer chips purchased from the Garage between attempts. As you scurry through space you earn money which can be exchanged for chips that provide various improvements. The main upgrades include; a shield, HP recovery, triple shot and more. Each upgrade also provide buffs to health, attack power, speed and fire rate. My advice is to unlock the extra slots quick and continuously invest in higher level chips as your average equipped level gives you a higher chance at even better chips.
Teeming With 80’s Style
It’s easy to see that the game parrots it’s aesthetic from the 80’s what with its extensively neon backdrops and its flying rocket car. It’s so well executed, I really dig how lively it all is. The synth-wave soundtrack too is so full of energy, each level is so bright and bouncy, the whole game is full of life. A funny detail is the retro game voice that screams each bosses name, though I sure wish I could hear ‘INSANE BROTHERS’ a little less… (the first boss)…
A Welcome Challenge
Black Paradox is tough, even now my attempts vary wildly in progress but it’s easy to keep trying again since my car is constantly upgrading and I get to try the various powers as much as I like. I played the Co-Op mode a little too with both my little daughter and a friend which was very fun but no less challenging.
One final detail, is the awesome moment your special meter fills and you can summon a doppleganger from another dimension. The game shouts ‘Black Paradox’ and another you appears and fires wildly at your enemies. It’s such an awesome moment that never gets old and encapsulates the games bombastic nature.
I was really taken by surprise by this game, what looked like a standard space shooter turned out to be an energetic and addictive experience that I am sure will continue to challenge me in the future as I try to push further and further. Everything is so well executed and full of charm and great humour. Friends also commented on the great soundtrack and the Co-Op mode was good fun and easy to grasp.
Kudos, Fantastico Studios!