SUPER UFO FIGHTER – Review
Follow Genre: Party Game
Developer: VV-LABO
Publisher: Phoenixx Inc.
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

SUPER UFO FIGHTER – Review

Site Score
8.6
Good: Easy to pick up and play
Bad: Sound effects can be annoying, feels slightly overpriced
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

While the classic UFO hasn’t been as prominent in popular culture as it was during the ‘90s, it has remained a thankful element to theme a video game around – just look at titles like Destroy All Humans! for example. Developer VV-LABO is presenting their own take on flying saucers and tractor beams with SUPER UFO FIGHTER, a 1v1 party game centered around beaming stuff up. We put on the X-Files soundtrack, dug up our blurry pictures of little green men, and took a trip to the nearest crop circle to sit down and discover whether or not SUPER UFO FIGHTER was out of this world.

Story

Although SUPER UFO FIGHTER is a 1v1 party game first and foremost, VV-LABO still put in the effort of adding a backstory to the game’s single player campaign, something we always appreciate. In the opening scene of said campaign, we meet our heroine, the plucky girl Lulu, who has been abducted by a UFO. Aboard the alien ship, she meets Dr. Gow, an alien dog, who equips her with a robotic translation device/battle suit known as RABI. With this device, Lulu is able to talk to all sorts of extraterrestrial lifeforms, which excites her enough to run off and explore the galaxy, much to Dr. Gow’s annoyance. Soon enough, Lulu and RABI find themselves engaging in an intergalactic sport known as Shwoop UFO, against Adamsia, the queen of Bubbletopia. Unbeknownst to Lulu, her game with Adamsia is broadcast all over the galaxy, drawing the attention of other aliens who wish to play Shwoop UFO against her. What follows is a series of Shwoop UFO matches, all while Dr. Gow attempts to stop Lulu’s rising sports career as he wants to return Lulu to Earth, as humans are an endangered species after all!

Graphics

It feels a bit jarring to describe graphics that resemble those of relatively recent consoles as ‘retro’, but there’s no other way in this case, as SUPER UFO FIGHTER embraces the visual style from the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS era. The game’s aesthetics reminded us of Part Time UFO, partially because of the similar theme of course, but also because there were striking visual similarities to HAL Laboratory’s physics puzzle game. The game pops through the use of striking colors and exaggerated, anime-esque character designs, with thick outlines. The sprite work is fantastic, although we did feel the game felt more at home in handheld mode than docked mode from a visual perspective -whereas the multiplayer nature of SUPER UFO FIGHTER benefits from playing on a bigger screen.

Sound

There isn’t a whole lot that we can say about SUPER UFO FIGHTER’s soundscape other than that it feels fitting for both the atmosphere and the visuals. There’s no voice acting present, and the music could have come straight out of the speakers of your DS. Sound effects can be a bit annoying -especially the airhorn sound that played a bit too often for our liking- but all in all, we were fine with what was present here.

Gameplay

Although SUPER UFO FIGHTER boasts a story campaign, the main focus is on multiplayer gameplay, which is evidenced by the fact that the campaign isn’t the most visible option on the game’s menu. In essence, SUPER UFO FIGHTER is a party game, even though party games typically allow more than two people to square off against one another. Players take control of the titular UFO fighters and engage in matches of Shwoop UFO, a ‘sport’ where the goal is to get a target item into a goal. This is a high-energy, low-stakes game that involves skill but also quite a bit of luck. It’s not easy to describe SUPER UFO FIGHTER’s gameplay flow without experiencing it for yourself, but we’ll try to make an effort.

Shwoop UFO is played in an arena with a goal on either side of the screen. There is a wall that can be raised and lowered blocking access to these goals, and players are able to raise their opponent’s wall and lower their own. Each player takes control of a UFO equipped with a tractor beam and punching arms. When a round begins, large balls containing items are dropped into the arena, and players must use their punching arms to either destroy these balls or simply outright punch their opponent, temporarily stunning them. Destroying a ball will cause its contents to be spilled on the arena floor, after which players can use their tractor beam to pick up the dropped items and deposit them in their goals. Doing so does not award points, but it will lower their own wall and raise the wall of the opponent. The higher the wall, the more difficult it is to drop items into one’s own goal. New item balls will continue to fall into the arena as older items are removed. Eventually, the so-called target item will be found in one of the balls. Once this target item drops, the so-called ‘target phase’ begins, dramatically changing the flow of the game as it becomes a mad dash to become the player to pick this one up. The player that can successfully drop it into their goal wins the round.

SUPER UFO FIGHTER is easy to pick up and play, with a very low barrier of entry, and the game truly shines when played 1v1 against an opponent. While there is an online mode available, we weren’t able to try this out as we weren’t able to find any opponents at the time of writing -which was several weeks before the release- but in all honesty, this doesn’t seem like a game really fit for online competitions and more like a title best enjoyed on the couch where you can yell obscenities at your opponent while you’re both trying to grab the target item. This isn’t a game that you’re going to play for hours on end but a couple of matches as a palette cleanser between two ‘bigger’ games will likely become a staple if you decide to pick this one up.

Conclusion

There is a fine line between having a simple gameplay concept that is addictive and having a simple gameplay concept that grows stale quickly. SUPER UFO FIGHTER falls in the former category. The game is easy to pick up and play but matches are addictive and thrilling. This isn’t going to be a game you’re likely to be playing for hours on end but if you give SUPER UFO FIGHTER a chance, it’s likely that the game will be a mainstay as an ‘in-between’ title when you invite a buddy over for a game night. That said, the game does feel a little light on content for the €9.99 asking price, but if you can pick this one up at a discount, it’s definitely worth looking into.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
SUPER UFO FIGHTER - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
SebastiaanRaats


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