by Howie Howard
reviewed on PC
Alphaman To The Rescue!
Alphaman is a 2D action arcade game that has a nostalgic look and feel to it. It was recently released by independent developer Heartfelt Games and it is a lot of fun, but probably only for niche gamers that relish computer games that look and feel like they are 30 years old! Stay with me as I travel back in time...
I Miss The Good Old Days
Alphaman is a side scrolling fare that looks, sounds and plays like one of probably a thousand arcade, DOS and console games from yonder year. There's really no storyline other than that a group of hackers have taken over some androids which they plan to use to dominate the world. As the hero, it's the players responsibility to stop them by using an android named Alpha.
The review copy of the game contained four levels with enemy android bosses named Maid Bot, Fire Bot, Usher Bot and Chef Bot. I understand that Heartfelt Games has plans to add levels with new bosses in the future. I found that Maid Bot seemed to be the easiest of the four so I concentrated on that level first. I next tried the Fire Bot level and he was definitely more difficult and it took me quite a while to figure the level out. This is not an easy game to master and you will find yourself restarting some sections many times until you can figure out how to get past each area.
Back To The Future!
As each level is completed an improved weapon or special item is gained that can be used in the next level. After a level is completed make sure to do a game save before logging out because this isn't a game console that auto saves progress. Remember, it's now 1987 not 2019! Alphaman looks and plays like it time traveled from 1987 to today with the only up to date feature being that it runs on Windows 10 and not DOS. I wanted to check out which keys controlled what and I found myself reaching for my mouse not realizing that everything operates from the keyboard. A game pad also works but since I lost my game pad years ago I used the keyboard which was just fine. I finally discovered that the X key is the weapon fire key which doubles as the means to get in to other areas of the game such as the options. The keys are pretty standard with Z being jump, X shoot and the arrow keys used for directional movements.
Have I Really Traveled Back In Time?
The game’s graphics and sound are vintage and it brought back some fond memories from when I first started playing computer games. After playing for a while and before writing this review I tried to think of what the graphics and sounds reminded me of. Mostly, they are reminiscent of 8 bit based sound with the computer screen projecting maybe a 16 color EGA palette. The sound and music reminded me of when I tried my hand at being a music composer after purchasing my first Sound Blaster card. Alphaman has a rather soothing and nice 8 bit synthesizer sound to it which I liked. The sound is snappy and it goes very well with what is seen on the screen.
Am I In Another Time Dimension!
When I started playing Alphaman I had a nice feeling of nostalgia. But is it worth five bucks on Steam? I have to answer that, yes, it is worth it. Alphaman is a whole lot of fun, plus it's challenging. Even though replayability might be limited, at least we can look forward to more levels in the future. I'll say this and then I need to recharge my flux capacitor and get back to 2019: Alphaman is a good game and lots of fun!
Inexpensive, a whole lot of fun.
Vintage 1980s graphics, sound and feel.