Laser Disco Defenders is a new “twin-stick” shooter game from developer Out of Bound Games and U.K. publisher Excalibur Games. Released earlier this year for the Playstation Vita, Laser Disco Defenders is a space shooter game with a 1970’s theme. All of the designs and music are a throwback to that era; big hair, big shoes, with big lasers tossed in.
Players choose from the four different characters, each having different default speed and health. Using these characters, you can fly around and shoot lasers at baddies. Nothing new. What makes LDD stand out is that as you shoot your lasers, they will bounce off any walls they hit and continue on their path. They never go away. This adds a different element to the standard shooter game. Players must be careful to aim and then also avoid their own shots.
The levels in Laser Disco Defenders are all randomly generated. You won’t play the same level twice. There are five different stages, each stage has five levels, but the design really only changes between stages. Though the levels are random, there are some very repetitive aesthetics. This is not helped by the fact that LDD is hard — really hard. Remember the days of when you died you had to start all over? Well, Laser Disco Defenders follows that one life rule. Depending on your character, you will have either or one heart or four for your life total. After that, it’s back to level one. Personally, even after a few hours of play, I couldn’t make it past level 11. I did have a good time trying though.
The design of Laser Disco Defenders is well done and original. I really enjoyed the four different characters and 1970’s space explorer setting. As players progress, they will unlock different items that they can equip on the characters; they change not only the appearance but also grant various powers such different laser styles, extra life, extra speed, and more.
The music in LDD is fitting. Consisting of funky beats and disco themed pop; it is definitely different than any other shooter I have played. The controls take some getting used to if you have never played a twin-stick shooter. Players can move with the left joystick and control where they shoot with the right joystick. Precision is key as players must not only avoid their own lasers, enemies, and enemy lasers, but also spikes along the walls and other obstacles.
Laser Disco Defenders is a great indie shooter. I wish it was a little easier, or that Out of Bounds had added some difficulty scaling. Laser Disco Defenders’ combination of original, cute design with fun music will keep you playing, even with the challenge of starting all over if you die. If you enjoy shooters, twin-stick or otherwise, then you should give it a shot, a laser shot, if you will.
Laser Disco Defenders is available now on Playstation 4, PSVita, and Steam. This review is based on a copy provided for the PS4 for that purpose.
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