Vortex Attack – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Shoot 'em up, space shooter, arcade
Developer: KaleidoGames
Publisher: KaleidoGames
Platforms: PC - OUYA/ GooglePlay soon
Tested on PC

Vortex Attack – Review

Site Score
Good: Old school arcade, new core mechanics, frantic gameplay, unlockable vessels
Bad: Soundtrack not memorable, lack of randomization (although typical for the genre)
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Vortex Attack is a frantic arcade space shooter featuring plenty of explosion effects. This ode to the true arcade space shooter genre is developed by Kaleido Games and can be played locally by up to three players. Staying true to the genre’s roots, it debuts a new core mechanic that is well-executed.

vortex attack


Once you’re in-game, a narrative is nowhere to be found. However the developers did provide a back story on the game’s page. It would’ve been nice to implement this back-story as an introduction or tutorial-like level but seeing as the game is also available in an arcade cabinet, this would be too much.

The alien war machines caught us by surprise as a strange energy vortex opened near colony Vehar-12, spitting out swarms of alienated vessels. The first attack was just over 20 Eartho-days ago and so far eighteen colonies have been lost, totaling 56 million souls utterly destroyed. The vortices seem to be coming for Earthos now but we have been fighting back. Our technicians patched up a captured war machine and discovered the key to the vortices – the energy that was dubbed as “Lumergy”. Not only does this energy create vortices, it can also destroy them. So now we are using our modified war machine to collect the fallen Lumergy and give the aliens a taste of their own medicine. Our chances are small however as we only have one ship. One chance to save all of us. That daunting task falls upon you Earthling.


The visuals of Vortex Attack are as you expect from frenetic space shooters featuring explosive effects. It’s bright, colorful and chaotic, although the chaos does start slow. The rainbow of colors, accompanied with the frantic action is simply well-executed.

vortex attack 2p


The soundtrack is an upbeat action neo-retro techno-like ambiance sound with plenty of explosions and additional sound effects such as the bullet hail being fired from your part but also being hit by enemy fires as well as debris from falling meteorites. Either way, the soundtrack is great and on par with the game’s genre but it is not something you’ll remember the game by.


The lack of randomized levels, enemies and boss mechanics is enough evidence to proof that Vortex Attack truly is an ode to the true arcade space shooter genre. However, this same lack may be dismayed by the modern era space shooter players as the gameplay can become dull. The fact that the game utilizes a mechanic of “credits”, much like the space shooters in arcade cabinets, only strengthens the ode but let’s dig into the gameplay itself without further ado.

Vortex Attack utilizes the core mechanics of a space shooter where you need to shoot the enemies who fire back at you thus you must avoid their bullet hail. An additional mechanic has been added however to kick the game up a notch and that is that you need to close the vortex – which is situated in the middle top of your screen – by “gathering” lumergy. This lumergy is energy that falls off dead enemies. The vortex will continue to grow if you don’t collect these lumergies fast enough and it will destroy the galaxy.

vortex attack 1p

There is a representation of the vortex’s strength but due to the frantic gameplay, you won’t be paying much attention to it. There are two spheres visible, the blue sphere represents the player’s level while the red sphere represents the vortex – also known as the black hole that consumes the galaxy. When the lumergy you’ve collected reaches the vortex, the blue sphere will shrink the vortex. You’ve completed the level once the red sphere is completely gone, thus imploding the vortices.

The game is comprised of several sectors. Each sector has about six levels and ends with a boss. Each boss has mechanics that differ from the previous boss which adds some surprising elements in the game. Once you’ve defeated a boss from a specific sector, you’ll be granted with a new ship model with a good variation of stats such as bullet power, assistant power, bomb stock and health. These ships can be used later on and you will soon find yourself falling in love with one or two ships as they all play somewhat differently from each other – providing enough variation to fit one’s playstyle. Once in a while, enemies do not only drop lumergy but also boosts and upgrades ranging from speed boosts to multishots to a companion with a laser.

vortex attack vessels

Earlier I mentioned the usage of “credits” in the game. You’ll start the game with 3 credits, one which you’ve used upon starting the game. The remaining two credits allow you to continue to play the game if you’ve found yourself in a tricky situation and couldn’t avoid the incoming debris of meteorites or the bullet hail that falls upon you. Thus you can look at the credits as “life”. Once you’ve spent the credits, the game ends when you die. Starting the game once more, will not only yield you 3 credits again but you will need to start completely from the start. Before starting, you may choose your vessel. This rinse-and-repeat type of gameplay without any kind of checkpoints is what makes the game a true arcade game as you’ll need to try to get further and further in each time.


Vortex Attack stays true to the genre’s roots, which may or may not be a great success. Both veteran and new players of arcade shooters will love the game’s explosive frantic action but the lack of randomization in enemies and mechanics may lead to a daunting gameplay experience. A good variation of enemies, vessels and colorful backdrops do make up for it and the new game mechanic of trying to implode vortices certainly kicks the gameplay experience up a notch. All-in-all, Vortex Attack is a great addition to the retro arcade-like space shooter games.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Vortex Attack - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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