Platypus is the new side-scrolling shooter game from the developers at Astraware. It’s available for PalmOS and Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs.
This game is not like other side-scrolling shoot-’em-ups: it’s based on the Platypus game for PC and Mac, so the visuals are created with clay, which gives the game its uniqueness. In fact, the game has nice graphics and animations, which makes it even more fun to play. But more on that later.
see the explosion? it’s photographed, recolored clay
After starting the game, you are in the main menu. It’s possible to start a new game from there, view the high scores, go to the settings menu, exit the program or continue a game which you’ve paused before.
Platypus main menu
The Settings menu
The typical settings for a game are located here: switching between landscape for left-handed people and landscape for right-handed people is possible, as well as enabling/disabling auto-fire, adjusting the sound- and music volume and last but not least toggling between stylus and button controls.
You start with an aircraft with one simple weapon which just shoots straight forward. The enemy aircraft are coming from the right, and you have to shoot them – at first, they’re quite easy to defeat, but as the time goes on, it’s getting more difficult to extinguish them without being killed. The number of bullets you need to destroy an enemy is always different, there are easy ones which can be killed with only one bullet, or more difficult ones which need 5 shots to be defeated.
stage selection screen
The aircraft is controlled with the d-pad or with the stylus by touching the screen. If you press the center key, the aircraft starts shooting and won’t stop until you press the key again.
Every action is accentuated with a fitting sound, for example if an enemy aircraft explodes, or just the buzzing sound of a weapon.
one of the more advanced weapons
After a while. there are some obstacles in the game which should be avoided. For example, don’t collide with the power lines – otherwise the aircraft will explode immediately. There are some turret guns which are trying to shoot you – better destroy them ASAP! After defeating some enemys, earn extra points by collecting the fruits.
left: exploding enemy, losing a banana. Collect it to get extra points:
right: see the wires of the power line in the right part of the image?
You start with four lives, but have chances to earn more in the game and at the end of each level. When there are no lives left and you’re killed, the score counter is set to zero, but the game continues where you died.
I succesfully tested the game on a VGA Dell x51V, so it will run on VGA and QVGA devices. Screens with a resolution of 240×240 are supported as well. Even when I clocked the device down from 624 MHZ to 208 MHz, the game was quite smooth and playable. Supported WM operating systems are 2003 SE, 5.0, 6 Classic and Professional.
Finally, the game is highly recommended for some gaming sessions while you are in a bus/train etc. It’s fun to play thanks to the nice graphics, so be sure to try it out!
Platypus for Windows Mobile 5/6.0 (free trial available!)
Platypus for pre-Windows Mobile 5.0 (free trial available!)
(screenshots by Astraware)