Simple but fun shooter
Despite the incredibly cheesy title which makes it sound like a 1950s horror B-movie, this is a fairly simple old-school shooter, which plays out in vertically scrolling fashion akin to Xenon, Xenon 2 and other such classics. There might not be much in the way of sophistication as found in more recent bullet hell-style releases, but for a bit of undemanding fun, this is worth a look. Unbelievably, there is an attempt at a storyline here, although it doesn't go beyond 'you're a lone space pilot, there are lots of evil beasties flying towards you, kill 'em all'. Instead, the game gets to business quickly and charges layers with flying their way through over 60 stages of high octane blasting action, taking on the titular space bats as you go. As you'd hope, there are some power-ups to make your job a little easier, including missile upgrades, but these lack the variety and inventiveness of the best shooters. Beyond this, there's not much to make Space Bats stand out from the crowd, and it remains a straightforward but enjoyable enough little blaster that is perfect for when you don't demand much from your games. The graphics and sound are pretty basic, but the sprites move around at a fair old pace and things get pretty hectic, with plenty of enemies and bullets flying around on-screen at any time. Although the game scrolls vertically, rather than remaining static like Space Invaders, your movement is restricted to left and right, which may prove disappointing to some, but isn't a great problem. While Space Bats is no classic and is more suited to casual shooter fans rather than the hardcore crowd, it makes for an entertaining diversion. The sequel, Return of the Mutant Space Bats of Doom provides more of the same.