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Pure old time shooter

For the truly old-school shooter lover, the kind of person who truly digs the simplicity and purity of Space Invaders, Galaxian or Galaga, then Round 42 will likely prove to be true excursion into gaming Nirvana. While it lacks the visual flash and myriad of upgradeable weapons that populate the likes of R-Type and Raiden, it makes up for this with wave after wave of alien blasting antics that might just keep you hooked if you are attuned to this old fashioned way of doing things. As you might have guessed, it's a simple enough shooter, very much like Space Invaders, where the player must simply face off against forty two rounds of alien nasties who have one thing on their mind: your explosive destruction. Each round contains a different set of enemies, each with their own distinct movement and firing patterns to keep you on your toes but to help you in this rather uneven battle, you have two weapons at your disposal. The first is an auto-firing cannon and the second a single shot targeting laser, the former with unlimited ammo while the latter can be restored through the successful completion of a round. That's pretty much all there is to the game and if you are looking for a straightforward enough little blaster to wile away the hours, you could do worse than this. There's little point to it other than being a pure exercise in high score attainment but its simple-minded approach to action is refreshing and strangely compelling. The graphics are of course little to write home about but controls are solid and responsive so if you like it old-school, then go head to head with Round 42.

Well designed space shooter with beautiful minimalist graphics

Round 42 offers the bare minimums when it comes to graphics. The screen is most of the time black with your ship and the enemy ships being no more than just small squares put together to form larger units. But this brand of simplicity feels very fresh, as it will remind of games from the Atari 2600 console. For its simplicity and lack of complex graphics, the game can offer quite a spectacle, both in diversity as well as in cool explosions played over delightful old school soundscapes which can have a really hypnotic effect reminding you of Space Invaders, and the like. Offering a break from the shooting stages, the game also brings forth intermediary areas, where your goal is avoiding the left and right walls though which you wish to pass. Coupled with excellently responsive controls, with that appeal of simplicity and minimalism in design, this game can be a great break time shooter, or even do a good job of entertaining your party guests, as it has lots of missions and it feels like an arcade done very well. I highly recommend it.
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Round 42 (pc game)
4.5 out of 5 (16 votes)

Images gallery:

  • Instructions
  • Title screen
  • First level
  • Second level
  • Simple but tough
  • They're getting closer
  • Nearly there
  • Just keep blasting
  • Bullet hell
  • Cornered!
  • Boom!
  • Happy faces shooting your ship
  • Courtesy of My Abandonware.
  • Image extracted from youtube video.
  • Courtesy of Abandonware France.