Alien Abuse: The Name Says It All

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Platformer

Alien Abuse is a terrifically scary, pulse pounding 2D action platformer that offers a lot of depth at a cost-effective clip.  The game is a port of the classic Abuse, but the dev has done a significant amount of work redesigning the control scheme for the Apple iPhone platform.  While some have complained about the graphics, I find them well done, and the sound effects especially with the cring-inducing shrieks and spine-tingling screams add to the carnage you’ll find.  Also, the soundtrack adds just the right amount of menace to the overall feel of Alien Abuse.

The game has 4 levels of difficulty—Easy, Normal, Hard, Extreme—and believe me, even on the Easy setting, the game is challenging.  In addition, you have several settings for the Speed—Slowest, Slow, Normal.  If you’re just starting out, the Slowest setting will help ease you into the game because at the Slow setting, the action really picks up.  Another nice addition is the control options where you can select one-or two-pad controls.  The dev provided the two-pad control in an update and is the one I recommend because it provides more control to aim and shoot while running.

The game is about carnage, which means you’ll need weapons if you’re to stand a chance.  Fortunately, you have an arsenal of weapons in addition to your standard laser rifle.  You have grenade launchers, rocker launchers, plasma rifles, flamethrowers, laser sabers, and Death Frisbees, and yes, they’re as fun as they sound.  You also have ammo (green boxes) and health powerups (red hearts) throughout and in later stages invisibility, ability to fly, and faster speed perks.  A health gauge corner that starts at 100 and decreases the more you get injured is located in the upper left-hand.  Obviously, you don’t want the gauge to hit 0.  After all that, Alien Abuse is missing one thing: a menu button.  Currently, when exiting during gameplay, the only way is to close out of the entire game.  Fortunately, the game saves the last level completed.

In terms of the gameplay, Alien Abuse follows the typical platformer in that you travel through various mazes and passages climbing ladders, using elevators and transporters, operating switches, and destroying walls to get to hidden entryways.  Trust me, the aliens will find you, and many times, the shrieking sound effects will be a good indicator of how close they are.  While aliens are your primary concern, you also need to watch out for hazards such as high-energy security lasers, giant metal-spiked orbs, and molten heat flows among others.  Alien Abuse also includes several maps intended to train you on specific skills: Leon, Frags, Acid, ACLPPXX.  I played around with these maps, and they’re as challenging as the game itself so be warned.

If you’re looking for a great platformer that will keep your interest through challenging gameplay, excellent sound and depth, good controls, and a responsive developer, Alien Abuse is your game.

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