October 4, 2010
I recently did a review on Radiangames Crossfire which I really enjoyed; so I decided to check out another Radiangames production, JoyJoy. JoyJoy was actually released before Crossfire; I was just late to the party. JoyJoy is a twin-stick arena shooter where you have two objectives. One, kill everything on the screen. Two, don’t die. In the beginning, this is not too difficult as the developer allows you a little time to get yourself acquainted with the game. After a few levels though, the gloves come off and it’s you versus the world. You take this world on wave by wave; 24 waves total. Each wave is filled with enemies that pretty much constantly spawn and attack you. Game play is fast, fierce, and in later levels you need to be precise with your movement.
You have some enemies that dart right at you as soon as they spawn while others try to avoid you and shoot you from afar. On the harder difficulties, you have enemies that not only come after you, but shoot at you at the same time. Every now and again you will come across a boss who is naturally larger and stronger than their minions. Some bosses call minions to assist in destroying you. Not to worry though because you have plenty of firepower yourself. You have a total of six different weapons in your arsenal. Each weapon has its own specialty such as having a wide spread of fire, bullets that can bounce off of walls, homing bullets, piercing bullets, and exploding bullets. You start off with the Vulcan which is fast and highly accurate. To be honest it was my weapon of choice for my play style. As you play through the game, you will get upgrades for these weapons to make them even more powerful.
You also get powerups by collecting Star Power that you receive for every enemy you kill. When your Star Power meter fills, you will receive either a Burst power up or Vortex power up. Burst will shoot continuous stream of homing shots for a certain amount of time. Vortex pulls enemies into a single location for a short time. The Vortex was my favorite of the two as it makes it really easy to take out a large group of enemies. Just keep a watch out for enemies that spawn behind you which might get pulled toward the Vortex. Besides weapon upgrades, you will also get armor and speed upgrades.
Once you complete the game, you will unlock the Lightning and Armored difficulties. In Lightning, enemies are weak but fast; in Armored, enemies are harder to destroy but slower. If you find the game is too difficult for you, the developer has put something in to help. You can turn modifiers on or off depending on how you feel. Modifiers affect things such as making charged shots charge faster, firing your weapon faster, moving faster, extra damage for bullets, gaining more star power, or if you are that bad, making it so that you can’t die. These modifications come at a price of course. For every modifier you turn on your score is reduced by 20%; 80% at max.
To add even more replay value to this game there are 6 challenges for you to engage in. Each challenge will usually pair you up with specific enemies while only giving you access to certain weapons and a survival time of four minutes. Overall, I really enjoyed JoyJoy and for only 80 points ($1) you get way more than what you pay for. I would highly recommend checking it out along with the other Radiangames titles. I am going to pick up Inferno next so hopefully you will hear about that soon.
Out Of 5
While JoyJoy doesn't have any eye popping hardcore graphical rendering going on, it still provides a pretty sweet game to feast your eyes upon. The game is very stylish and moves at a silky smooth frame rate. While you play you can't help but to feel Joy even when you keep messing up.
The sound effects fit the game perfectly. Not to loud, not to soft. The in game music will repeat over and over, but it doesn't get annoying. At least I didn't mind it for the 24 waves.
The controls fit perfectly for this game. The movement is very precise and the buttons are very reactive. Exactly what you need for a game that runs at this pace.
While the core game play is don't die and kill them, you still need to use a bit of strategy and make sure you are using the correct weapon for your current situation.
Lots of fun, even when losing!