REVIEW – Escape the Virus: Shoot’em Up! DSiWare/3DS eShop

Escape the Virus Shootem Up banner

Same Problems As Before Only Worse –

Escape the Virus: Shoot’em Up is basically a new way to play the original game Swarm Survival; you play as a piece of inaccurately depicted DNA while fighting off viruses from a top-down view. Instead of strictly playing defense like in Swarm Survival, Shoot’em Up is an offensive game that is a twin stick shooter but with only one stick.

And therein is this title’s biggest problem – aiming. Because movement and shooting is mapped to the same control method, either the d-pad or stylus on the touch screen, accurately aiming is impossible. The fast speed of the game doesn’t help with aiming either and also makes the jump function pretty much pointless.

Looks and plays just like Swarm Survival
Looks and plays just like Swarm Survival

Like Swarm Survival, there are two new different gameplay types in Shoot’em Up: Shooter and Territory. Shooter is essentially a Horde mode where the goal is to last for as long as possible while taking out as many enemies as you can before you inevitably die. Territory is a King-of-the-Hill style gameplay where the goal is to sit inside of a black hole long enough to be rewarded with score multipliers. In a way, this game is subtly depressing because you will always perish to an onslaught of relentless viruses. And what do black holes have to do with viruses and DNA?

If the moving/aiming mechanic wasn’t completely terrible then perhaps it could have yielded some entertainment but players will be more frustrated with the lacking controls than the lack of penicillin. Instead, there is no reason that Swarm Survival and Shoot’em Up should have been broken apart into two different games as each title uses the same art assets, game engine, story system, and even overall gameplay. Splitting up these games into two separate titles is just an obvious attempt to rake in a little more cash.

No one knows why DNA has one giant eyeball
No one knows why DNA has one giant eyeball

All the problems that held back Swarm Survival also appear in Shoot’em Up but with the addition of worse play control. Leaderboards are restricted to local use only and users cannot even type in high score initials, the entire game is pixelated, the camera is initially zoomed much too close and the shoulder button needs to be constantly held down for a better view, power-ups are nice but are too far an in-between, and the music is composed of these weird clown horn noises. Even for a $2 download, it is hard to ignore so many issues.




Not As Good As: Escape the virus: Swarm Survival

Better Than: getting the flu

Also Try: covering your mouth and washing your hands often


By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief


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