Based on the BKN cartoon series, Red Storm's Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths & Legends places you in the role of Nick Logan, ace alien hunter. Dastardly aliens plan to use popular Earth legends, such as vampires and werewolves, to terrorize humanity and ultimately take over the world. As an operative for the multinational Global Alliance, it's up to you to travel to five worldly locales, snag some feisty weapons, and thwart the impending invasion. As an action game, Roswell Conspiracies is rather basic, but the plot is certainly fanciful enough to appeal to less discerning consumers.
In a nutshell, the Roswell Conspiracies is a mission-based action shooting game. There are over 20 levels in all, each presented in a top-down perspective. For each of the game's five locations, you'll spend two levels hunting down aliens and their technology, two more levels transporting hostages back to base, and another level fighting a boss who's tracked you back to GA Headquarters. Ignoring for a moment that it is impossible to drive from Roswell, NM, to Ireland, Roswell Conspiracies tries passionately to add a sense of location and intrigue to the gameplay.
Unfortunately, rather than go all-out and deliver a wide array of aliens, environments, and bosses, the brunt of the intrigue in Roswell Conspiracies is plot-driven. Each area has different goals, but they all boil down to the same tasks: capture aliens, capture items, and return to base. Although each area is colored differently, there's nothing that really sets apart the shacks in Ireland from the hotels in New Orleans. The enemies come in a variety of flavors, such as blue banshees or purple zombies, but they act similarly regardless of location. Despite being made up of cookie-cutter sprites and repeating tiles, the game's animation is fluid, and some monotony is eliminated thanks to the presence of a number of hand-drawn cutscenes.
The greatest flaw in Roswell Conspiracies is how terribly repetitious the action is. When not collecting artifacts or racing away from UFOs, you're walking the beat and hunting down aliens. In theory, you're supposed to use your alien detector to uncover disguised aliens and engage them in gun battles. In practice, you're zapping the same innocent-bystander sprite every five seconds. Once you actually root out an alien, the creature will wander around at an angle trying to bump into you or hit you with an energy weapon. At the same time, you're shooting it madly with small-arms fire. After enough shots, the enemy will petrify and you can imprison it with your capture device. Repeat the above pattern eight to 20 times per level, and that's the gist of Roswell Conspiracies.
The only variables that change between missions are the weapons you carry and the statistics indicators you need to manage. You begin the game equipped with a weak pistol, but you can later upgrade to such fun things as a flamethrower or a plasma gun. At the same time, you need to make sure to keep human casualties to a minimum and your own stamina high. If your life hits zero or the loss of human life reaches 100 percent, the game ends. The aliens become stronger as you progress, and some levels have more bystanders than others, giving Roswell Conspiracies a smoothly increasing rate of challenge.
Fans of the series or younger players may delight in the simplicity that Roswell Conspiracies offers. Furthermore, while jaded action fans will find little satisfaction from the game's constantly rehashed locales, sprites, and missions, there is an undeniable level of polish that would make it a great title for less-experienced players or fans of plot-heavy games.