solaroids-prologue

REVIEW: Solaroids: Prologue

When you’re ‘the last’ of something in a series or a group or anything, be it Airbender, Samurai, of Us1, or any other finality, you carry an incredible weight and hype on your metaphorical shoulders. This is it. There is nothing else to come. You’re the final act. And in realizing that realization, suddenly you’re expected to not only be good, but even be the best ‘the last’ thing to come along. With that knowledge, Solaroids: Prologue ($1.00) is the very last XBLIG, released about a month and a half after the official cutoff date.

Your initial thought is undoubtedly that it’s a space shooter, and you’d be correct. By its name, you’d surmise it’s a relative or close personal friend of the classic game Asteroids. And you would also be correct. You’re ‘2 for 2’ now. Then, you’d probably say it has a twin-stick control scheme. And… wrong. You were really close, man. It’s indeed a space shooter where you shoot larger asteroids and break them into smaller asteroids, where you (eventually) face down more sophisticated enemies, but if you want to follow the original source material, you’re going to need the ‘tank’ style turn controls, with the added benefit of forward and reverse thrusters to fine tune your fancy flight and trajectory.

Gameplay is similarly classic, in that dull, ‘watching paint dry’ sort of fashion. In the way back when, Asteroids was exciting stuff, the pinnacle of videogaming. In the modern era, not so much. There’s a reason these ‘classics’ have turned into free browser games; they’re not that revolutionary or involving anymore. That’s not to dismiss or discredit these games for their contribution to history, just to state that their idea has been used dozens of times over.

To its credit, Solaroids: Prologue has a better graphic presentation, has power-ups (think shields, faster bullets, ship buddies for added firepower, etc.) and 4-player split screen2. The argument here is that the game is both more fun with and meant to be played with others, and that’s probably the case… if local multiplayer is an option for you. By yourself, the classic setup of chasing down asteroids hasn’t aged nearly as well. Especially when it requires you shoot so damn many of them to progress.

solaroids-prologue-screen

Enemies do show up the more you play, albeit gradually. Ditto for their size and intelligence and tactics, meaning you’ll eventually wander into some challenging firefights that will take full advantage of your acquired power-ups. In that regard, the game sheds its Asteroids origins. Yet with that being said, it’s still a generic and tame shooter, from the backgrounds to the gameplay and everything in between. As a ‘prologue’ to a perhaps bigger or more fleshed out endgame, you’d almost expect that.

So while Solaroids: Prologue plays and controls well enough, it’s a space shooter that you’ve seen and played well before you’ve even seen and played it. It’s a slow burn to get to the more exciting battles, and even then, your patience isn’t going to necessarily be rewarded with anything beyond the ordinary. This is the last XBLIG, and the last space shooter you will play for XBLIG. Despite the sadness of that finality, this game won’t be greatly missed.


  1. You’re probably not asking, but I’m telling: The Last Airbender (movie) was terrible, The Last Samurai was pretty good, and The Last of Us was a phenomenal piece of gaming, entertainment, and storytelling. 
  2. In what was a recurring theme for XBLIGs, a lot of the games would benefit from having two or more people around to enjoy couch co-op. Unfortunately, in an era where people are constantly on the move / playing online, you don’t necessarily have the controllers or friends in immediate supply. That’s not to say that local multiplayer is a bad choice, just not an option that is as prevalent as it was in gaming’s past, when it was required. 
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5 thoughts on “REVIEW: Solaroids: Prologue”

  1. A lifelong fan of Asteroids and interested in trying out Solaroids: Prologue yourself, despite my lukewarm reception to it? Thanks to the very gracious developer, DynF/X Digitial, I’ve got ONE copy of the game to give away. You know (maybe remember) the drill— reply to this comment, and the game is yours!

  2. Then I guess that’s the official last review on this great and wonderful site. I reminisce about all the good times we had. It’s been a wild and fun ride and so glad I got to be a passenger aboard this flight. You inspired me brother! I shed a tear in this the final review of all the great and wonderful reviews you did. This will be missed my friends. Made some good friends from hanging out here. Talk to ask as we move on to bigger and better stuff.

    \m/ Peace Out THE XBLIG \m/

    You will forever hold a special place in my heart.

    1. Metal, my brother, thank you for the kind words. I know I’ve said this before in other words and comments, but you guys coming around to this site kept me going at it. We’ve had some laughs here, and some good times in-game too. It’d be impossible to forget that. 🙂

      This is the last XBLIG, but it might not be the last review… It didn’t feel like the final one when I was putting it together, and I still want to get to one or maybe two more before I call it quits.

    2. Yeah, I know. Sometimes it feels like we are beating a dead horse of which I have actually done in RDR. 😛

      AND NOW you tell me it isn’t over YET. OMG dude, you just don’t give up now do you! Gotta love your passion.

      BTW be on a look out for a DM on twitter over the next month or so (might wait till after the holidays) but got something to share with you that is currently on the down low but you’ll be one of the first to knows. Your readers and this great group that hangs here will be the second if I’m lucky.

    3. Well, I say ‘maybe’ another one or two. Not a lot of visits here these days, but that never stopped me in the beginning, so I suppose it shouldn’t stop me now. I feel like I still need to do another one (I can’t let it be over, man!), and I know I definitely want to put together a list of games people should buy before the storefront closes.

      And I will keep an eye out for that DM. I hate waiting for tasty tidbits of information, but if I must then I must. 🙂

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