It’s time to play a shooting gallery in space – we are entering the world of Blink:Rogues, developed and distributed by Fox Dive Studio
To start with, I will be honest and say I was genuinely curious how a simple genre like the “shoot’em up” could be innovated further. Space Invaders (1978) started its popularity and since that time, some great games have come from it like Mushihimesama in 2011. That said, I feel like many games in this genre feel like they are almost the same game, with some small differences and a new texture pack thrown over the top. Blink: Rogues, however, adds a new spice to the genre by mixing it up with some new mechanics, which we will go through in this review.
Before I go into the review fully, I will make a note that we are playing this game in a pre-release state. Points mentioned are subject to change and one particular aspect due to change is pointed out later in the review.
First, I would like to talk about the game overall. There are two options to play on – Story and Multiplayer. I started off with and had some fun playing the story mode. It was a genre I hadn’t played for a while, so I had to get back into gear and recover the skills needed to play it well.
The story revolves around you as a pilot who, in the game’s tutorial, finds what seems to be a shard of a portal but you don’t pay much attention to it, simply taking it back to your base after finishing your tutorial mission of dealing with the enemy. While I started with the story mode, I would suggest that the game is certainly not focused on that part; Not that it’s not well made, simply it’s not where you will extract the majority of the game’s fun from.
The multiplayer is the part where the game truly shines, with one of its new mechanics: Screen hopping; With the space bar, you can move your ship between the two sides of the screen. These are normally separated into different atmospheres. In the story mode, it’s main purpose is dealing with enemies on both sides and dodging objects that appear on one side but not the other. Now multiplayer, that’s where the fun starts
You and your friend (or should I say rival now) each start on one of the sides, shooting the enemy in your own merry way using a variety of tools loaded onto your ship’s arsenal. These tools include a scattershot, a laser and a missile of sorts, the type of which depends on which enemy you are facing. At any time, however, you can switch to your friend’s side to help them out with enemies on their side and to try and achieve 100% of the opponents killed. The game rewards you for this by giving you an amount of stars depending on how many you kill: 50% of the enemies is one star, 75% is two stars and finally 100% is three stars. This acts as a sort of completion system, to encourage you to keep going back to levels you have not achieved all the stars on yet.
The fun doesn’t end there, however, as you can also kill your friends in order to rob them of their points. A classic backstab that will certainly create some tension outside the screen for the duration of the game. In the end, the multiplayer was great fun for the player versus player aspect and allowed for some funny moments between us
Unfortunately, despite the interesting concept, I did encounter some issues in the gameplay. Occasionally the controls stopped responding, which threw me off. The music suddenly stopped playing a few times too. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take away the essence of the gameplay, but the issue of the controls, in particular, was offputting.
Lastly, there is the music and graphics to talk about. Both were simple in their own way but not bad: the music works well for the background while you are focused on dodging opponents and shooting down the enemy ships so that it doesn’t distract you that much. The graphics were reasonable for a game like this, and the developers have said they are going to work on the graphics before the game’s release so they might get even better, which is a nice touch for a game that started with something so simple!
In conclusion, Blink: Rogues is a good game when you need some time between games in order to empty your mind from more complicated mechanics in order to play something fun and engaging to try to keep improving, I would recommend it for those who need a breath of fresh air or those who enjoy games like space invaders
The game can be bought digitally on Steam.
Thank you to Fox Dive Studios for providing a review code for the game.
Nick has been gaming for quite a while, a decade now! His first console was the DS but the first one played extensively was the Nintendo 64. He loves a huge variety of games, favourite genres include RPG, platforming, metroidvanias and visual novels.