Developed and published by Snow Day Software, Hovership Havoc is futuristic twin-stick top-down shooter against robotic enemies. With a choice of 4 hoverships, each with different weapon types and stats, you have to take on enemies in randomly generated levels to progress and get to the boss which changes the top-down view to a 3rd person view. The graphics are a bright neon futuristic style using a lot of metallic blue and grey colours. Most of the levels seem to take place on some sort of derelict platform. The audio has a looped dance track which seems to be your standard filler music so you may want to use your own music. You have the typical gunshot sounds and the constant hum of your hovership which you would expect.
There is no story here, it’s a straightforward arcade game with an emphasis on randomly generated fun to keep the game fresh. You choose between the 4 hoverships Devastator, Plasma Gatling, Laser Blaster and Pulse Cannon. I am pretty sure they are the weapons attached to the hovership and not the name itself, but nonetheless you pick one and dive right in. You are placed on a map where enemies start to spawn around you. On each map, you have to take out so many enemies until the generator appears. Once the generator or generators on some levels appear, you have to destroy them to get to the next map. You don’t have to finish each enemy on the map, but killing enemies helps you gain experience and they drop points which you can use to upgrade your ship. Unfortunately, you can only do permanent upgrades before you start the game. You can do temporary upgrades as you progress through the maps but obviously, should you die at any point those are gone.
On each of the maps, you can find additional weapon/abilities which you can assign to your bumper buttons, up to a maximum of 2. If you then pick up another, you can either discard it or replace one of the weapon/abilities you already have assigned. There are many different types of weapon/ability like homing missiles, a lightning strike, mines or a damaging pulse around your hovership. These weapon/abilities have a recharge time, so you have to use them wisely. You can also pick up upgrades to your hovership to improve your weapon damage, weapon reload time, hit points or movement speed amongst others, but those upgrades are only temporary as well. Each hovership also comes with a speed boost power as well to escape danger by clicking the right thumb stick, but this also has a recharge time.
There are a few gripes I have with the game. The twin-stick controls don’t seem polished enough. It seems the aiming cursor only benefits the long-range shooter and doesn’t adjust for the short-range shooter. The cursor seems to go too far out that your aiming is slightly compromised if you use a short-ranged weapon. My other gripe is that the game is quite tough early on without any upgrades. Because your main weapon overheats too quickly and you don’t start with much health, unless you are a master already it will be several playthroughs before you even fight your first boss.
Hovership Havoc is exactly what its title suggests; you steer your hovership around the enemies and navigate areas of complete havoc. The game starts very tough, though that is by design as you would get bored if it was too easy. It is a competent arcade twin-stick shooter for skilled gamers, stick at it and upgrade wisely, and you will start to get a knack for things. .
This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox One console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
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