B.ARK Is an interesting SHMUP made by developer Tic Toc Games. It offers Co-op play and a cute aesthetic unlike what one would be used to from this genre. Are these unique qualities enough to make it stand out from the crowd? Read on to find out!
Gameplay is fluid and fun. it’s a little more complicated than your average SHMUP fare but fun additions like bullet dodging makes for a surprisingly robust game that will satisfy newcomers and veterans alike. The main selling point is gonna be the multiplayer. Unfortunately it seems only couch co-op is available for this up to four player experience. You can use steam remote play to alleviate the fact that having people over at your house is currently taboo but it’s a poor solution for the biggest reason to buy B.Ark over the others in this over saturated genre. Anyone who has used parsec or steam remote play will attest to why this isn’t near enough and I implore B.Ark devs to implement web code to save this amusing sleeper hit. C+ ( A if online is properly implemented after writing this review)
The aesthetics of this game are pleasant and make it easy to see where you are amidst the chaos of your friends and enemies shooting the place up like a spaghetti western. it’s got Saturday morning cartoon written all over it and that includes the story of fish vs mammals. You are the pets of a research colony that was over taken by sea creatures who’ve had enough of humanity polluting it’s waters. before being captured your owners have decided to put you in an escape pod that conveniently contains space ships armed for combat. the pug decides to fight back. the others agree and you scour the solar system for revenge and to rescue those kidnapped.
Sound was very unforgettable but to be honest you will be too busy playing the game to really notice it anyways. It is there though and it isn’t bad either. Overall I give the aesthetics and story a solid B.
Sure, B.Ark doesn’t have the traditional look or feel of cool fighter jets in space blasting aliens in small space corridors SHMUPS are known for, but it gets the job done and would make a great entry point to the genre or just a good way to get your friends into it. That is if the devs do something to fix the multiplayer. Otherwise the replay value for single player will certainly warrant the price alone. B+
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for review is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience. All opinions therein are from the author alone.
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- Co-op adds a refreshing take on the genre while being competitive and fun.
- Dodge mechanic is fluid and intuitive.
- Beginner friendly: Respawn mechanic instead of lives counter and ability to grab defeated allies for better times.
- Beautiful graphics and good soundtrack.
- Needs actual online play to stand out.