Heckabomb – Review
Follow Genre: Twin-Stick Shooter
Developer: Allicorn Games
Publisher: Allicorn Games
Platform: PC

Heckabomb – Review

Site Score
Good: Challenging, pretty backgrounds, good soundtrack
Bad: Repetitive, needless time restraints in campaign
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Heckabomb is the brainchild of one-man indie studio Allicorn Games, the solo project of one of the developers from Puppy Games. Let’s see if it’s Heck-a-cool!



You are the pilot of the Heckabomber, a massive planet-destroying superweapon which you managed to save from your destroyed home planet after an alien invasion. Seeking revenge you set out on a journey of payback, destroying enemy planets left and right and using their remains to upgrade your own ship.

So far the official story, which isn’t mentioned at all in-game. Although the story itself could be pretty solid, it isn’t elaborated on in the slightest. You can kind off guess that it is your ship responsible for making the planet in the background exploding, but that’s pretty much it. It isn’t that uncommon for indie games to forgo the story altogether to spend their often limited budget and/or time on other things. And as is the case for Heckabomb, if the gameplay is good (and challenging) enough, it isn’t that hard to forget about the lack of backstory.

yellow sun


The launcher offers a selection of resolution and used screen for multiple monitor setup, with settings like AA, bloom, post-processing and reduced detail available in-game. Not only are the options relatively extensive for a one-man indie project, even the graphics themselves are relatively impressive. The missions in which you use the Heckabomb to destroy a planet you’ll see your objective slowly turning in the background, occasionally occluding its star. The enemies are reasonably varied and explosions satisfying. Heckabomb often feels a bit bullet hellish, which means screen clutter is a fundamental gameplay element, yet at times it gets a bit hard to distinguish enemies, debris and your own ship from each other and the background. This especially holds true in levels with bright background elements which bleed out everything that gets close. It also seems to be locked at 60FPS even though the rapid action and fast-as-light reflexes needed for dodging might actually benefit from higher framerates.

planetary debris


Heckabomb’s soundtrack is from the typical retro futuristic genre, just what you would expect to hear from old arcade machines. Just like that except qualitatively a lot better, complementing the action with high tempo when the action picks up and a grand orchestral grand feel to it. If you are a fan of the genre, it’s definitely an enjoyable experience. If you are so inclined you can pick up the soundtrack with sixteen tracks as an additional DLC pack for a reasonable price. The weapons have the same retro ‘blasty’ sounds which all in all, isn’t the worst thing ever as it fits in nicely with the retro auditory experience. One annoyance is the issue with the seperate audio sliders. With only a master and a music slider there’s no way to turn down the effects to enjoy the music.

player death


Heckabomb is a twin-stick shooter with lots and lots of different enemies set in a circular arena. Depending on the objective and game mode you’ll have to survive a set amount of time, get a certain number of salvage etc. Surviving in Heckabomb consists of keeping your shields up, which consist of multiple levels. Once one level is depleted, it’s not coming back unless you get a boost, but if you lose half a level it will regenerate over time.

The variety of enemies will force you to constantly move all over the map while taking out as many as possible of them. The circular boundaries of the arena aren’t always visible but instead red lines show up when you get close, giving you the impression of a greater space to move around in. Some enemies might drop salvage, a shield boost or even a unique weapon mod to temporarily deal massive damage. Every tenth stage there is the obligatory boss-battle, but engaging him is an option rather than an objective. The risk of being blown up by its massive weapons vs the unique boost only obtainable by defeating him is a tough choice to make.

cloudy space

The ‘collect salvage by blowing up asteroids’ feels merely like filler between the actual battles. In a sense they are not so different, with the exception that asteroids don’t shoot back and break into smaller pieces when shot at instead of just exploding. This salvage can then be used to purchase upgrades in the shop, ranging from replenishing your shields and upping the fire rate on your main gun to things like adding arcing lightning or orbiting satellites that absorb projectiles.

The upgrades are extensive and actually make a difference, but the time constraints in the campaign and the limited salvage budget you’re given at the start of endless mode means that one really OP build is mostly out of reach. Why not make these salvage collecting missions progressively harder and leave it up to the player to move on instead of making it practically impossible to continue collecting salvage after a while?

And as for the shields: if you lose a level of protection in one stage, you’ll be playing without that level for the rest of the game unless you pay up the salvage again. In other words: continue purchasing shield upgrades or only take three hits in the entire game. One might argue this is part of the challenge of Heckabomb, but especially considering the hefty cost of the heavier toys to put on your ship mostly ends up in tough choices you don’t want to make.

so many asteroids


Allicorn Games clearly made some choices in the development of Heckabomb and it played out well. The lack of story is made up for with solid gameplay and mechanics, with a brutal and unforgiving edge to it. But because this absence of narration, the campaign doesn’t offer much over endless mode except some missions to grind salvage in order to purchase upgrades. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, as long as you’re looking for something arcade-ish and not too much depth. The game looks good though, with only some minor annoyances concerning visibility, and a more than decent soundtrack on top of that.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Heckabomb - Review, 6.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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