Inventive sci-fi puzzler
A sort of spiritual successor to Taito's own Qix, Volfied is the kind of quirky little puzzler that will appeal to fans of Pipemania. The basic gameplay is similar to QIx but is dressed up with a sci-fi aesthetic to make it more distinctive, while a plot has been added in to give it some more character. This story revolves around the efforts of a lone pilot who, upon returning to his home planet, finds his people under attack from an alien race and who are now cowering underground. It's his task, and of course the player's, to stop this assault and save his people. However, instead of being a shoot 'em up as you might expect, Volfied is better described as a 'draw 'em up'. Gameplay plays out over a series of 2D levels, which are populated by the expected roaming nasties. Your task involves drawing a series of rectangles around these levels, in an effort to cut them off and remove them from the field. If you can clear 80 per cent or more of the screen, the level is completed. Of course, adding to the difficulty are the aliens, but bonus power-ups are available to enhance your speed or even add in more traditional shooter elements like weapons. Volfied isn't quite a classic puzzler but it's close. Visually, the game's sci-fi stylings are certainly attractive, with plenty of pleasingly designed enemies and backgrounds, but audio is very retro with simple beeps and blasts that are definitely old-school. Volfied is certainly inventive and contains enough challenge to keep hardened genre fans addicted and while the gameplay may not sound that thrilling, it is strangely compelling, so if you want something a little different, check this out.