for Game Boy

Company: Incube8
Year: 2020
Genre: Action
Theme: Science Fiction
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 506
Review by LostInSpace (2023-12-23)

In the field of vertical shooters, Solar Striker from 1990 is probably the best-known game on the Game Boy, so that due to its popularity, it was later even offered in a bundle with a new device instead of Tetris. With the quite new homebrew game Genesis, the Game Boy fan gets new supply and is supposed to wipe out the eponymous evil AI and its robot escort.

Graphically, the two games are closely related: the background consists of a geometric pattern, different for each level, in front of which the enemy machines in the form of drones, unmanned flying objects and mechas fly in in varying formations.

However, Genesis takes a slightly different approach to the appearance of power-ups after enemy-kills by implementing a random function. The computer decides completely at random whether upgrades are released or whether the opponents disappear without reward. In a second randomised step, the type of power-up is determined. Either a supply of more powerful ammunition or new life energy, which are represented as bars at the bottom of the screen.

As the weapon upgrade is limited, the player should proceed carefully so as not to waste the improved ammunition. In certain situations, this can lead to simple enemies being dodged rather than fought. Because the final boss can of course be defeated more quickly with a good shot.

The player only has a single life available for the entire 4 levels and can never relax due to the unreliable energy support. A little carelessness can, with a bit of luck, be immediately compensated by an energy extra. On the other hand, if you don't get a life power-up for a long time, the game is often over too quickly.

This peculiar game design is actually noticeable in the gameplay: the player will try to aim as accurately as possible. This effect is further emphasised by the overall leisurely pace of the game and makes Genesis very different from Solar Striker, where constant automatic fire and fast reactions guarantee progress. However, the aging Game Boy fan may find this fact particularly appealing.

Aim well and shoot!

I also don't really agree with the often-heard criticism that Genesis is too short. It takes at least a few sessions and quite a bit of luck before the enemy constellations are sufficiently well remembered for you to reach the end in one run.

Contrary to certain rumours on the Internet, Genesis does not offer a hard mode that can be activated after playing through the game. However, as soon as the end is reached, the high score is saved and appears on the title screen from then on.

The accompanying music is a gloomy track that perfectly matches the end-time atmosphere. The final battles are emphasised by their own musical theme. Released in a high-quality box with instructions and an all-black module, the collector gets a beautiful piece for their display case.

However, the game shouldn't stay there, because in my opinion Genesis offers a really solid basis for a quick round in between to have fun with your Game Boy.

Comments (1) [Post comment]

Vertical shooters are considered to be a demanding genre and the modern type is overflowing with explosions and other graphical overkill. Unlike Genesis which offers a comparatively calm gameplay and allows the player advancing to later levels without breaking out into a feverish rush. The Game Boy's monochrome display is used to magically depict the gloomy surroundings.