Satisfying blasting action
Science fiction junkies in search of their next fix should certainly consider checking out Xenopods as it makes for a satisfyingly exciting burst of action. A sort of mix of shooters like Gauntlet and Alien Breed, it's a neat little game that while not being exactly original, certainly delivers where it counts. The setting is the far future, where the player controls the lone survivor of an outpost which has been devastated by a plague of alien attackers. It falls to you to jump into your neat little security drone and pilot it around the base, fixing communication links so you can send a message for help. Once that is done you can just sit back and wait for the cavalry to arrive. Of course, it's not all that simple, thanks to the alien larvae which are still roaming around the base just waiting to put an end to all your best laid plans. That's pretty much it in terms of story and while it might not be the most original in the world, it provides a solid backdrop for what is a pretty decent little shooter. It all plays out in overhead fashion, with the player piloting their tank-like drone through some nicely designed and quite varied levels while making use of a variety of powerful weaponry to clear out the halls. Visually, Xenopods is quite simple but certainly effective enough, with clean and atmospheric design work which gives it something of a personality. Controls are neatly implemented while the core of the game, the blasting action is meaty and satisfying and which is backed up by moments of strategy as you seek out communications hubs to repair. Xenopods is certainly not going to set the world on fire but as an undemanding shooter, it does the job.