Published on April 17th, 2010 | by Cameron Woolsey
Indie Review: Missile Escape
Release Date: March 22, 2010
Platform: Xbox 360 (XBLIG)
Missile Escape is a simple little game where the primary object is to well, escape…missiles. While the shock you must be feeling settles, I’ll go over the basics. Missile Escape pits your chosen jet against an ever-increasing attack of heat-seeking missiles. The display is in top-down 2D showing off the plane, missiles, and the nicely rendered ocean below.
To beat a level, you must successfully evade a set number of missiles within about ten seconds, or five seconds if you play survival mode. The first level will pit you against a single missile which is simple enough to evade. The second level will put you against two, the third against three. You should recognize a pattern by now: with each level that goes by another missile will be added to the mix. This seems easy enough but let me tell you, by the time you hit the fifth level, you will begin to feel the heat. As well as adding more missiles onto the screen, some will gain in speed. Soon enough you will need to deal with missiles that can fly far faster than your sad little plane, forcing you to circle and dodge more frequently.
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s talk about the difficulty. Holy crap, this game gets hard fast. Dodging a few missiles seems like cake at first, but trying to fly through nearly twenty missiles, most of them faster than your wimpy jet, takes the laser-focused concentration of a Buddhist monk on Ritalin. I started off playing on medium, but I could barely make it to the tenth level. There is an easy mode, of course, and changing the difficulty will slow the speed of both the jet and the missiles. But being defeated to the point that you have to change the difficulty just to have the satisfaction of beating the game only shows how much you suck at dodging missiles.
So after I beat it in easy mode I was awarded with a fancy new plane. There are a total of six planes to play but you need to unlock the five others by reaching certain goals. From my experience, the different planes you can choose are purely aesthetics; the different planes do not have different abilities to use.
Overall, I found that I actually enjoyed the challenge. Sure, trying to beat the game in medium–I’m afraid of hard mode–caused me to whimper like a little girl, it is still a fun and addicting game. It reminded me of my days playing on my Atari 2600, playing a game that had no real ending, only more monsters to defeat. Sure it was hard, but back then some of the best games were like that; those who have played games like the Mario Bros. Arcade will know what I mean (my record stands at level 37). The game is difficult, yes, but in a good way. Those who can’t handle the difficulty won’t really appreciate the challenge, but for those who like this type of game will find enjoyment and for only 80 MS Points ($1), you won’t be disappointed.
Check out the official trailer:
Note: The game in the trailer is being played in Easy mode