One of the first games I have memories of playing as a young child was Worms; the kooky simplistic action entertained me endlessly. Unfortunately, not many games have been able to accurately reproduce the fun of those games, at least until now. Early access tank combat game ShellShock Live brings back that mathematics-based, fun gameplay in a neon colored, explosive package.
ShellShock Live is a 2D action game where your general goal is simple: destroy all the other tanks. The gameplay is both simple and deeply creative. From the beginning of the game you can level up and customize your tank; this is through the process of either increasing your core four stats which increase your chance of getting gear, hitting a critical, taking less damage, or moving farther.
Along with that you can buy a ridiculous number of weapons ranging from shots that sink the ground, others that explode in a flower, nukes, weapons that change physics laws and even generate new land masses – hopefully with your opponents under them. These weapons can then be upgraded to make them even more deadly.
Of course, what would the game be without game modes to use them in? ShellShock Live has a number of interesting modes for you to try out. There is the classic death match but alongside it are modes like rebound, where you must bounce your shots off walls to do damage, and assassin where you can only kill marked tanks before moving on. These game modes help keep the game fun and varied. The mechanics are simple enough and very rarely have issues.
The gameplay is mostly based around moving your tank and figuring out the perfect velocity and angle for your shot. It is simple, intuitive, and rewarding once you get it down. Very little is quite as rewarding as continuously managing direct hits on enemy tanks, and it is one of the many things that make ShellShock Live a great indie title.
From an artistic standpoint, ShellShock Live is simple but enjoyable. The graphics are by no means intensive with more detail in explosion sprites than the tank models themselves. The game’s neon color palette is fitting and allows for color association once you get it down.
Sound wise the game isn’t too bad either. Tanks firing have the force clang of the shell as you would expect, while explosions are full and sharp. The soundtrack is enjoyable and fitting, nothing too noteworthy, but if you do enjoy certain tracks the game allows you to buy them so it plays when you win. Overall, you likely won’t be noticing the artistic side too much, but if you do, you’ll probably enjoy it.
Classic 2D mathematic turn based action games are part of a classic genre that has many fans, but hasn’t had any new titles come out lately. ShellShock Live is an extremely enjoyable and varied experience that offers a great opportunity to play a fun 2D turn based action game. If you miss the classic Worms titles and want to experience that fun gameplay again without the over the top humor, ShellShock Live, for only seven dollars, is for you.
Platforms: Mac, PC, Steam OS