Tag Archives: Flump Studios

REVIEW: Super Killer Hornet: Resurrection

It must have seemed like some freak accident in the case of Super Killer Hornet, a bizarre experiment gone right. The combination of a Bullet Hell shooter and Mathematics is not the first two singles you’d think to pair up, but it worked out splendidly once you were in-game, adding a twist (and a little education) to an otherwise standard formula. With Super Killer Hornet Resurrection, or SKH-Resurrection ($2.99) as is its officially-listed name, Flump Studios revisits the idea and installs some upgrades.

And if you’ve played the original, you’ll recognize the format. A handful of varying enemy / fire types, coupled with giant end bosses and spread over six vertically-scrolling levels. You’ll get your choice of three ships with differing degrees of firepower and spread, with only the very center of your spacecraft being vulnerable to enemy shots. Bombs are handed out to erase the screen of bullets and baddies, allowing both manual and auto (for beginners) settings for their deployment. Modes, too, come in your typical flavoring— Arcade, Time Attack, and Survival.

Where SKH:R forks the shooter path is when numbers begin to slide down the screen mid-battle, setting the stage for some light Arithmetic (Addition, Subtraction, etc.; nothing too taxing or with answers too behemoth). Completing the equations correctly do more than just increase your multiplier, and in essence ‘level up’ your ship, granting additional shot streams so that you can cover more of the battlefield.

On the reverse side, get the question wrong and you’ll downgrade your ship, halving your fighter’s effectiveness and potentially hurting your end-level bonus until you put together a string of right answers. This ‘chaotic math’ factors into the gameplay in other ways, as well, serving as a way to ‘damage’ a certain boss, while in Time Attack, answering correctly extends the timer (and your life).

SKH-Resurrection - Screen

Insert easy joke on ‘Hornet’ name here.

For audio, you get a decent, hard-rocking soundtrack from the ‘Sixty-Fours’, or you can opt for the game’s official set. Both compliment the game well enough, but it’s the mechanics of SKH: R that really hit their stride in this iteration. The first game was good fun, while Pester improved on the shooting aspect and added a ton of mode variations, but here, it feels like the culmination of harder work, the true manifestation of the rather brilliant idea conceived in the original game. My one gripe is with the bosses, which tend to repeat a little too often and feel like placeholders for missing action.

That issue aside, you can’t really go wrong with the rest of Super Killer Hornet Resurrection and its already-solid core made better, packed with enough challenge and tricks to cater to a wide (and not so dumb) crowd. So don’t be ignorant, my friend. If you’re gonna shoot something, do it with some style. And some multiplication tables.

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‘Super Killer Hornet Resurrection’ Has Some Sting

Returning to its roots as the developer of shooters mixed with math, Flump Studios’ newest is a familiar name with not so familiar visuals. Super Killer Hornet: Resurrection retains what made the original Super Killer Hornet unique and addictive, namely its insistence on you solving simple math problems while you shoot.

Visually, though, the game has improved (the original benefited from this upgrade as well, on PC / Ouya), giving it a wider variety of styles and enemy types. Tweaks to the gameplay and the mechanics also indicate that this sequel is striving to be as fun as its predecessor, and teach you a thing or two about numbers in the process.

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Super Killer Hornet Resurrection will see release later this Fall. You can follow the developer’s progress here.

REVIEW: Pester

That Pester (80 MSP) is a arcade shooter with Bullet Hell-tendencies should be fairly obvious; screenshots depict an old-school style in a locked vertical column with some decidedly-merciless bullet patterns, and that name certainly ain’t designed to make any quick friends.

As a shooter, all of the necessary boxes are checked off, though the majority of Pester‘s replay value stands behind a bounty of options, modifiers, challenges, and multipliers (for a possible combination of 95+ different setups). Almost all of these are locked at the outset, and the requirement for their freedom is reaching a high score plateau within the individual modes. This is all easier said than done, naturally, with the perpetual carrot-on-a-stick being that you’ll get incrementally better the more you play and triumph over evil, or something along those lines.

The game eschews stage progression and bathroom breaks, giving you one contiguous level (enemy waves, boss, enemy waves, boss, etc.) under two mainline game types. Arcade Mode is ‘shooter’ bread & butter, the most familiar— three lives, speed and shot powerups, and screen-clearing bombs. Collect coins to fill your Hyper meter, allowing a short burst of heavy firepower. Tempus Mode does the same, but more immediate, with the addition of a countdown timer below your ship. Collect clocks to extend your time. Losing a life here takes away ten precious ticks. Reaching zero is of course game over.

From either top mode, you can then branch off into several sub-modes. Pester‘s charm comes in its lack of charm, in not letting you get comfortable. Just when you’ve adapted to one manner of play, unlocks or score requirements will push you to climb towards the next peak, from the standard shooter trappings to wall-to-wall boss fights, a stint as a pacifist (dodging asteroids without the benefit of lasers), or the outright ridiculous; the ‘Duo’ modifier hands over the controls to two ships at once using the two thumbsticks. Fancy yourself even more dexterous? Try it with the inputs reversed. Higher scores and multipliers await for the truly mad and gifted.

Pester - Screen2

See any trouble? If you guessed ‘everywhere’, you’d be right.

In the minus column, the retro visuals may be nostalgic but they do come at a cost; both the coins and clocks you need to collect in their respective modes can be indistinguishable from enemy fire, which at times share a common color or shape and in the heat of the moment can lead to plenty of cheap deaths. The game modifiers are hit and miss as well. Ninety-five plus combinations, sure, but some of those combos are related to modifying the controls and / or inflating the difficulty, and as such are not likely to be used by most (sane) players.

It’s not as inventive as the studio’s previous shooter, Super Killer Hornet (Math problems while dodging fire, anyone?), though there’s little doubt that Pester takes its turn competently. There will be bullets and some pestering (sorry, couldn’t resist), but you’ll be able to stomach all of your dying given the fact that the game and its two top modes are a lot of fun to play, and offer up enough different settings in the sub-modes to outlast and justify the repeated run-throughs.

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Review on Clearance Bin Review