On occasion, indie game developers will drop the price of their creations to bring in some fresh blood. In this case, “Longshot” set a record for me as the cheapest game I ever purchased…five whole cents. The game was originally $4.99, but I lucked out and caught it during a 95% off Desura sale. “Longshot” is an action / arcade combat driven game, set in space. You’ll pick one of two sides and square off against the other team, trying to complete one of two goals before the other team can.
The main menu allows you to play single player, multiplayer, view scores & credits, and adjust game options. The options menu allows you to change the screen resolution, set the graphics quality, adjust audio sliders, toggle fullscreen, and turn up/down the control sensitivity. It’s a very basic menu, but covers all of the important stuff.
Starting a single player game allows you to participate in the four tutorials available, play skirmish, or try your hand at last stand mode. The tutorials will guide you through the motions and teach you everything you’ll need to know about the gameplay mechanics, so I recommend starting there. I didn’t get a chance to see any multiplayer, as there were no games available during my play session.
In the skirmish mode, you’ll choose a side, pick a ship, select a loadout, and attempt to do one of two things to ensure victory. You can capture the station in the middle of the map, or you can destroy the enemy base on the far side. Likewise, your enemies will be trying to do the same. The interface is fairly easy to understand…your weapons and their charge / overheat meters are in the upper corners of the screen (left and right mouse buttons fire them), the two bases’ health bars are displayed in the top middle of the screen with the station’s capture status directly underneath, and your ship’s status indicators on the far bottom. I haven’t figured out yet what status indicator is which yet, but I know that armor and shields are displayed. I played through the tutorials and don’t remember them being mentioned, but I wouldn’t have minded a quick help / reference sheet via the menu to help answer these questions.
Combat is fairly easy, once you get the hang of flying in three dimensions. While you can move your ship forward, back, and side to side on a horizontal plane, you can also fly up or down a plane to outmaneuver your opponents. Double or triple tapping various directions will enable boosts, execute rolls, and allow the ship to move the among these planes with relative ease.
My favorite aspect of this game is how you can pick from different ships and customize their loadout. It’s obvious that the smaller ships are weaker but more maneuverable, but you can combine various weapons and defense loadouts to suit your play style. What’s more, you can assign your weapons to either your left or right mouse click. Smaller ships don’t allow you to have as many loadout slots as larger ships, but the functionality is still there. You can equip two or more of the same weapon to make it more powerful, but drains power / overheats faster in the process. I created a large tank with five laser cannons and one of each defense (armor and shield) and took out ships like no one’s business…though my weapon’s charge only lasted a second before fizzing out.
Another neat feature is the ability to dock with the center station to pilot an engineering ship, which allows you to build turrets. To do so, you’ll need to make sure you equip a platform and one of the available turrets before launching…at least, that’s what I did. Creating a platform is as simple as holding in the fire button and waiting for it to construct. Once it’s done, you can build a turret on it. Staying alive while this is going on is another matter, as the engineering ship is rather weak.
Last stand mode switches gears and starts the map with the center structure already captured. You’ll start with the weakest ship and be tasked with fighting off waves of enemy ships. How you plan your defense is up to you…will you switch out to an engineer ship and go turret happy or will you concentrate on taking out the enemies yourself?
Overall, I found “Longshot” to be a fun diversion in short spurts. The graphics are pretty good and the flow of play will keep you engaged from the beginning of a round to the end. Was it worth the five cents I paid? Yes. Is it worth the full price of $4.99? That’s a tough call. While there’s not a lot of game modes and multiplayer seems to be non-existent, the game has a lot of good ideas that could be expanded upon. There’s no leveling mechanic like in the “Battlefield” series to give you a sense of progression, but it’s a good way to burn five or ten minutes if you’re just looking to go into a game to blow stuff up. If the developer intends to introduce new ships, weapons, and game modes, then yes, I can see it being worth five bucks. I recommend trying the demo and/or waiting for another sale in the meantime.
Final Verdict: 5/10
You can learn more about and purchase “Longshot” by visiting the following website:
You can check out video play sessions here: