A different type of shooter, RazerWire: Nanowars is an arcade-like experience with an extensive upgrading system that is best played in short bursts.
From a stationary screen, your home base spaceship is located on the left with incoming enemies attacking from the right. Instead of navigating the ship, the player actually controls a cursor that extends with a wire from the ship. Brushing this cursor over enemies will destroy them but will also deplete the cursor’s shield. However, if the player is able to use the wire to cut through the waves of enemies, the score increases and the shield remains intact. In other words, you want to dental floss your way to victory with this electric razorwire.
This is easier said than done as the screen is often filled with enemies. In fact, there are usually so many enemies that it is nearly impossible to “floss” them as opposed to just ramming them with the cursor. The cursor’s shield will eventually regenerate but the player is penalized with a slow moving cursor until the cool down timer is restored, making it more difficult to defend the ship. Game over is inevitable but each death has the potential to help the player’s next run thanks to the expansive upgrade system. Experience points are used to enhance the player’s abilities in a number of different ways and a new one can be unlocked with most attempts. So even though you will die a lot, the progression system and pacing make this game enjoyable and addicting.
My biggest complaint comes from the constant beeping and danger indicator. As enemies never stop and only grow in number, the intensity is steady and the shield level is never fully active for more than a few seconds. It is impossible to use the razerwire to cut through all the enemies so hearing the “your shield is empty, be careful” sound effect gets annoying since you will hear it more than anything.
Nanowars is actually a very simple game, you just bash incoming enemies with your cursor from a basic visual style, but it is that perfect game to play when you want to burn those five minutes before dinner or waiting for that larger eShop file to finish downloading. You won’t want to play more than a couple runs at a time but the quick burst mobile approach works well enough thanks to the extensive upgrade system and pick-up-and-play approachable gameplay.
Also available on Xbox One.