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).
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.