Dual-stick shooters are undergoing somewhat of a Renaissance thanks to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, where fun, arcade-style games have found perfect homes. But Everyday Shooter isn't your typical Robotron clone. As a PC game, it won multiple awards from the Independent Games Festival (amongst others), and after taking a look at the upcoming PlayStation Network version, we can see why.
If you've played Robotron: 2084 or Smash TV, you will have a very basic idea of how the controls work in Everyday Shooter. The left analog stick moves your ship (or in this case, your pixel), while you shoot with the right stick. We say "basic" because developer Queasy Games is obviously going for an experience that transcends simple shooting. Instead, it is an evolving experience in which every shot landed creates a visual and musical idea that is expanded upon as you play. In this way, it seems to very much resemble cult classic Rez, which was billed as a musical shooter.
The game also strikes us as more relaxing than the frantic pace of such games as Geometry Wars or Super Stardust, as well as more involved. For example, in one level you create chains by blasting a large geometrical pattern into other shapes and then getting others to stick to it until they explode. And every level will be different, so you should expect to change your approach as you advance through the game.
It's also beautiful to look at, featuring a unique visual style that is incomparable to other games of its type. It's flashy, to be sure, but rather than simply filling the screen with particles, Everyday Shooter is both colorful and cohesive. The levels we saw showcased a lot of pastel hues and geometric shapes, as well as patterns of all sizes. It was accompanied by a strumming-guitar theme that pulsed and subtly evolved over time. It was at once compelling and soothing, an uncommon combination in games of this type.
With such a unique take on a common mechanic, PlayStation 3 owners may well have a winner on their hands. Everyday Shooter will be available for download on the PS3 from the PlayStation Network this fall. We'll bring you more updates as they become available.