Welcome to the return of 5 minute Friday! I ran into a bunch of nasty video problems the last couple of weeks, but I think I’ve finally got it sorted out.
This week, I decided to play an indie game that my brother bought me for Christmas, Everyday Shooter. EdS is a top-down shoot ’em up game from Jonathan Mak. For 5 Minute Friday #2, I sat down and played the game for about 5 minutes. This got me through the first level, and a bit of the second (on which I immediately died).
While there are many top-down shooters out there, what sets EdS apart from most other arcade games is its focus on music: you control a… presence in the game world that shoots… *something* at the various shapes that move across the screen. It’s all very abstract and musically focused; it reminds me of AudioSurf.
What is cool is that as you hit the shapes you are rewarded with musical notes, rather than the traditional explosions and violent sound effects. It makes for a very different experience; I found myself trying to shoot the shapes in time with the beautiful, low-key background guitar, rather than just spamming my shots wherever I could. It was as if the shapes were there for me to pluck with my pick.
In addition to the aural rewards, moving your presence causes the background image to shift and change as well, making for a highly visceral (if distracting) game experience. Everything the player does has some immediate impact on the senses.
Although I can understand the appeal of the game, it just isn’t my cup of tea. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to feel while playing; the music was slow and soothing, but I found the experience of trying to avoid or shoot the shapes stressful. I have never been a big shoot ’em up fan either, so that may be coloring my judgement. At the very least, Everyday Shooter is a fun game to dive into for a few minutes. I think that the genre of music games has a lot of potential, and Everyday Shooter is a great example of a game that fills a niche in the market.