Developed and Published By: Tikipod Categories: Shoot em up Release Date: 04.08.21
Exploration, shootemup gameplay, RPG elements, cats! Astro Aqua Kitty has a lot to like, doesn’t it?
The Aqua Kitties are in space, finding these strange asteroids filled with water. Lets choose our pilot and engineer, both deciding on specific stats and looks, and lets get into the game. Your ship/submarine controls smoothly, but has a few quirks to get used to. You can move in any direction, but changing the direction you face, and in turn shoot is done by the press of a button, giving me Defender vibes, though this is the complete opposite type of game. Astro Aqua Kitty is more of an exploration based shmup. Stages are vast, there’s side quests, if you don’t pay attention to the map, you might even get a bit lost.
On top of all of that, there’s an RPG twist to it all. Shooting at the creatures and machines in the depths of the craters grants you experience. The higher you level up, the most you can upgrade your stats and use higher level weapons or equipment. You even can get passive or active additional skills. These include fast auto regen for health, allowing for energy refill drops to heal, little drones, etc… Enemies will also drop gems and equipment drops, the former is your currency.
Astro Aqua Kitty has a lot of equipment. Lots of guns, from standard machineguns, to shotguns, to slower lasers, to homing missiles, to my favorite, the Virus Canon, which when you shoot it at an enemy, it slowly and slowly does more damage. Don’t just go shooting like crazy though, as shooting takes up energy, and if you waste too much, you won’t be able to shoot as fast, or even at all. To remedy this, you can find enhancing augments to you ship. Some for health, some for energy, one makes your missiles faster, you can get bigger and better gem drops. These can all be found by killing enemies…or by buying them.
All of these pickups have their own set of stats, so you might have to hunt down different drops of the same weapon you have if you like perks it has. You’ll want to go to as many docking stations as you can, when you can. You can heal, save, and more importantly upgrade yourself. Save up those gems so you can get the guns and augments of your choice. Leveled up? Use your gems to increase your HP, energy, or shield. If you fall in battle, you’ll be spawned right back at these spots if you continue too, which with some fights and bosses, really helps.
On top of just normal missions like guiding a drill, protecting mechanics, shooting everything, unlocking doors, etc…You can do side quests. They’re always optional, you can just go straight from start to finish, but doing them is always in your best interest, especially when money is involved.
I like look of the game quite a bit. The character art is cute, and the spritework in gameplay is pretty detailed. The enemies seem to be made of either enemy ships or mechanized aquatic life or plants, reminding me of the Darius series a bit. As far as I see, the variety of enemies isn’t too big, but it’s good enough, as there’s always a different enemy for each kind of situation. Bosses are huge and unique, and the second one in particular has a quirk that made me love my Virus Canon.
The music in Astro Aqua Kitty is no slouch either, with a fun, fast techno-like sound. I always say a good shooter needs a good soundtrack, and it’s no different here. It can get chaotic and twitchy at times and the music perfectly fits that mood. I’ll definitely be listening to it outside of the game.
Astro Aqua Kitty was a blast. I’m sure RPG fans will enjoy the game, but I worry some shmup fans will be turned away because of the RPG elements. I loved the play it your way philosophy of the game though. If I wanted to use certain parts and weapons, I was free too. I never felt like there was one set way the developers wanted you to play and that’s great.
Buy Now: $14.99
*Game Download Code graciously supplied for purpose of review