I haven’t, admittedly, played too many shoot-’em-ups on iOS, but most of them have been kind of dinky, for lack of a better word: they’re usually a little slow and a little simple, if only to contend with the strictures and realities of touch-friendly action. Maybe I’m not playing the right ones.
That said, what stands out to be about Supermassive, the just-announced collaboration between Pixelnest Studio and Plus, is how fast and bullet-hellish it is.
I don’t know if Supermassive is going to use a virtual control overlay or multi-touch or what, but navigating through those fat-pixeled bullets and wide-body lasers with the tip of a finger is impressive either way.
While the game clearly traces its lineage back to the 16-bit horizontal shmups of yore, its website suggests a more modern structure: “a never-ending run to make the biggest score!" In today’s parlance, I reckon Supermassive is one of those new-fangled “endless" games, where death is certain and you can probably tweet your high scores.
What the website doesn’t say is whether or not the thick, sludgy metal track from the trailer (“Bestial Paragon Interface" by Zander Noriega) will make it into the final game.
Pixelnest is a two-man studio based out of Rennes, France. Damien Mayance and Matthieu Oger have worked on a few school projects, demos, prototypes, and development tools, but Supermassive looks like their first full-fledged commercial release. Artist and animator Simon Coroller, known professionally as Plus, is handling the game’s slick visuals.
Supermassive is currently in the works for iPhone and iPad, with plans for an autumn release. An Android port will come later.