By Dave McLean - September 4th, 2014


In place of a review, I could probably just record a long sigh and upload it to Soundcloud – but despite my lack of enthusiasm for this title, I’ll still try to give it my all here. I have picked this game up and put in down at least a dozen times, and I come back to it not out of love or interest but out of the belief that there really must be more to it – but there isn’t. Or maybe there is, but the hidden wonder and depth doesn’t emerge until the twentieth hour of play. That unlikely scenario aside, your experience with this game will probably be the same as mine. While playing No-Pact’s Reclaim, you’ll experienced everything there is to experience within the game by about two minutes in.

The story, which doesn’t really appear in the game itself, involves humans fighting back against robots on a planet far in the future. The player fights baddies astride a gunship that’s part jet ski, part monorail, and part enormous gun. Enemy ships descend and attack frequently, and the player can either take them down slowly with a gatling gun, or blow ’em up quick with the “pounder” (while more satisfying, the pounder can only shoot directly ahead whereas the gatling gun locks on to the enemy and makes for easier firing). In addition to robot bad-guy ships, there are also innumerable obstacles to avoid. The gunship can jump between five different rails to nimbly avoid all the random obstructions left lying around by whatever crazy entity designed the planet. Nine of ten times it’s an obstruction that’ll take you down and not a bad-guy.

Not bad. Not good. Just…same.

Sounds like fun, and it’s not terrible; it’s just the same damned thing game after game and minute after minute. There’s only one mission, you always start in the same place, and while the obstructions and enemies might be randomized, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. The currency is “cores” and you can collect those to upgrade your ship, but: it takes a long time to earn enough to upgrade; the benefits of upgrading seem totally imperceptible. They might as well be gunship decals for all the good they do. There are also ‘missions’ to complete, but these amount to reaching score milestones or killing X number of ships,
and achieving them offers no real benefit.

But hey, I’m a firm believer that every game has a number one fan somewhere out there. Some people like boring things and invest a lot of time in them. Like those folks who hold world record scores in old-timey arcade games (and I’m not talking about the good ones either, I mean like Super Sprint and Kangaroo). Someone like that surely exists for this game – they will enjoy it immensely. Everyone else can take a pass though. If you’re still interested, you can scoot over to iTunes to grab Reclaim for the iPhone/iPod Touch or the iPad.

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