Space Toads Mayhem is a randomised arcade shooter perfect for score chasing

Unbeknownst to most, space is filled with aggressive oversized toads. The only ones who can protect mankind from this menace are you and your tiny, little space ship. This is the premise of Space Toads Mayhem, an upcoming shoot ’em up by LimeVibe Games. At PLAY Expo Blackpool 2018, we had the chance to play it.

The basic concept of Space Toads Mayhem does not stray too far from the classic 80s arcade-style top-down shoot ’em: you are in charge of a single ship, waves of enemies approach you and need to be eliminated, power-ups help you on your way. The action scrolls, but the pure focus on enemies instead of obstacles is reminiscent of Space Invaders rather than Gradius.

That said, Space Toads Mayhem makes a couple of changes to the formula. The enemies, the eponymous space toads, are randomised instead and do not comes in fixed waves. Additionally, they have neither a set movement pattern nor do they necessarily come at the player straight away. Instead, their behaviour is as random as the pattern of their appearance.

The result is a shooter that does not require — and, in fact, does not permit — the player to memorise entire levels. Instead, all decisions have to be made short term. Power-ups aside, you can exploit the game’s physics and have enemies bump into one another like billiard balls.

Story-wise, Space Toads Mayhem does — to no one’s surprise — not offer a whole of depth. It is designed for score hunters and feels more like an endless puzzle game in this regard. There are numerous difficulty settings that tie into this: on higher difficulties, power-ups are less likely to appear, but you are rewarded with more points.

Graphically, Space Toads Mayhem keeps things simple. The backgrounds mostly consist of monochromatic mist. While a bit dull, the visuals are serviceable and offer a clean look, and easily distinguished enemies and projectiles.

Space Toads Mayhem has little to offer beyond this. Its sense of progression is largely tied to its score system as opposed to progression through distinct and increasingly hazardous stages. If that kind of escalating score hunting sounds good to you, keep an eye on it.

Space Toads Mayhem is expected to be released in Q4 2018 for PC and Mac.

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