Developer: Jean Francois Geyelin
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Pew Pew 2 is a fairly insane dual stick shooter set in a world reminiscent of Geometry Wars. Instead of the usual dual stick affair with zombies and vampires, you get an army of faceless, soulless shapes that wonder around the screen trying to kill you.

As expected of the genre, the controls are fairly ordinary, with a joystick for movement and a joystick for firing. Fortunately, this is where the similarities end. Instead of just mindlessly killing in an attempt to live for another minute or so, the game has a variety of free form gameplay modes as well as a challenging campaign mode to keep you entertained.

The campaign mode consists of 11 missions that have you performing some kind of fairly simple task. Some of the levels have you going from one place to another, while others have you killing everything on the screen. Instead of the typical free form approach, Pew Pew 2 has you weaving through all sorts of levels, a bit like a vector based Guerrilla Bob.

The free form modes are a bit different, but still fun. There are 6 modes in all, and the game types range from just killing things for as long as you can to retrieving things while staying alive for as long as you can. Each level involves you in some way staying alive for as long as you can, but the ways that you go about staying alive make this game interesting and relevant. To keep the levels entertaining, there is also a medal system that rewards you for exceptional gameplay. Instead of just handing out rewards though, the medals are pretty tough to come by, with the gold medals being almost impossible to get.

The flaw of Pew Pew 2 is that it doesn’t take its own idea far enough. While the campaign mode is great, and the gameplay and mission variety keeps things fresh, there just aren’t enough missions, and many of the mission designs stick to the tried and true formula of staying alive for as long as you can. I really wanted to see Pew Pew 2 really break down the walls of the genre, relying more on puzzle solving and quick thinking rather than moving and dodging. While moving and dodging is great, it’s been done before, and it’s getting a bit old.

Aside from gameplay, there really isn’t much to not like about Pew Pew 2. The graphics are your standard vector based graphics where everything has no soul, but all of the enemies are discernibly different and each have a personality. The sound, while not exactly my cup of tea, is a good track of soothing, space age techno that will put you into the mood.

Without trying to sound too positive about the game, I am thrilled that someone is finally trying to break the dual stick genre out of its little box. I do wish that Pew Pew 2 would’ve tried to take it a bit further with some more innovative level designs and some more thought provoking gameplay modes, but not every game can be geoDefense Swarm. At $1.99 though, Pew Pew 2 is worth the purchase, but it is Pew Pew 3 that I am most looking forward to.

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