Occuro! – The Game of Stellar Combat
Occuro! is a great game from Acceleroto where you are the pilot of a ship that must go out and destroy everything that spawns in your path. Alright that isn’t really the storyline, but it is essentially the aim of the game: crush the opposing enemy ships.
In Occuro! you are in control of a little blue spaceship that can fire out lasers at all possible angles, and you are tasked with the job of destroying everything for points. There are two methods of control: touch and tilt. The option of both control schemes is great for those of us whose wrists burn with the slight thought of controlling this game. Unfortunately for me, I prefer the tilt control because I feel the touch control is not nearly as precise, but they are both rather difficult to control at times. The difficulty of the control scheme might just be a learning curve and a need to get used to, but for now it feels a bit difficult to control my ship precisely where I want it to go. Although that just might mean that I am a bit of a control freak… which I am.
The game itself is truly a very fun experience. Occuro! reminds me of the old school space shooter arcade games that I so adored, but updated and made sexy, by Acceleroto. The broad variety of enemies present in Occuro! keeps you on your toes as some will just relax by the wayside and wait for you to come to them, while others will swarm you like ants to sweet, sweet sugar water. One of my main gripes with the game is that spawning can be somewhat unpredictable, which is quite fine with me, but when combined with a somewhat inaccurate control scheme, it is rather difficult to steer away from recently spawned enemies who chose about a millimeter away from your oncoming ship as an optimal spawning point.
Fortunately, the game can be rather forgiving. You spawn with a shield which gives you an extra bump from enemies, but sometimes they do spawn in groups which means you’ll lose your shield and your life one after the other. Your other life line comes in the form of a bomb, which you activate by double tapping the screen, and eliminates any enemies within your immediate vicinity. Use them wisely, because you only start off with three bombs! In addition to the shield, you do run into power-ups that are either score multipliers, extra bombs, or a quad-laser. These power-ups not only help you survive a bit longer, but they help you in your quest to get your name on those leaderboards.
Overall, the gameplay of Occuro! is very easy to pick up and play, with a slight learning curve in terms of the controls, but you will definitely have fun the entire time while playing. Well, unless you’re like me and your wrist felt like the fire and brimstone of hell after playing several sessions of Occuro!
The graphics behind Occuro! are simplistic yet effective. It feels like I’ve said this about every game that I have reviewed, but it really is something I look for. The graphics give it a cartoony yet futuristic feel, and the sprites are quite detailed with shading and great effects. The background images use a nifty effect where there are two layers of images, one of a huge array of stars and the other of other space matter that just seems closer. Together, it gives the game environment a sense of depth that is rather fitting for the space setting.
Initially, I was going to say that the sound effects of Occuro! were simple and were adequate for the game. Then I read in the iTunes store entry that I should wear headphones when I play for a “great stereo gameplay”. Well, never one to shy away from developer claims, I put on a pair of headphones and played the game.
I was blown away. The sound effects seemed so much clearer and more distinct compared to playing with the speakers, and the soundtrack really shined through. In addition, it may have just been my imagination, but I could hear the position of explosions and the location of power-ups appearing. Overall, a fantastic experience with headphones on, and I thought that it was just a very surprising aspect of the game.
As mentioned earlier, there is a global leaderboard. This leaderboard is powered by geocode, which allows for competition amongst geographical regions such as city, province or state, country, and global. This is a great addition because not only can I claim that I am the best in the “Markham Southeast” region, but also because it gives regional players a great sense of competition as opposed to just a general global leaderboard.
Also, there are added extras to Occuro!: Flashlight and Strobe. They are totally unrelated to the game itself, but I thought they were just fun little add-ons.
Occuro! is a great space shooter that is most definitely fun. There are a great variety of enemies with different behaviours, lots of power-ups that help you survive and build that score, and the quality of the sound is just amazing. Definitely a great game to pick up!