Death Ray Manta

This spruced up version of the original Death Ray Manta is both a wonderful homage to the past, and a deliciously reckless arcade shooter.

Death Ray Manta SE review

If everything had gone according to plan with Geometry Wars Retro Evolved, it would have ended up a shadow of its final glory. For all the myriad spawn patterns the game draws upon, each enemy type can be relied upon to provide a fleeting moment of transparency on arrival, during which time the player can make contact and survive the encounter. Every enemy type except the snakes, that is. They appear fully formed and deadly, and the most delicate of dances is required to escape from within their collective clutches.

Death Ray Manta SE

Publisher: The Future Of Videogames

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Rob Fearon on: Three screens and the truth

"A replacement for the freedom music once offered."

Hello! Chris Donlan here. David Goldfarb, our regular columnist, is away this week, so I've asked Rob Fearon to write something instead and he has very kindly agreed. Rob designs wonderful arcade games such as DRM (which does not include DRM) and he is also a brilliant writer. I know: what a massive jerk. I really hope you enjoy what he's come up with today. Also, look at THIS.

DRM: Death Ray Manta review

DRM: Death Ray Manta review

But not as EA know it.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, but thankfully we can now consign this ugly initialism to the funeral pyre of justice. Burn! And rise, Death Ray Manta, a googly-eyed Elasmobranchii that shoots lasers, kills things, and would never dream of restricting your access.

Not just a funny game, DRM is a fresh one - a twin-stick shooter that doubles up as a quickdraw nemesis, replacing long levels with frantic and fast chunks of battle. In screenshots it may look like a Geometry Wars type of experience, but DRM is a much more tightly-focused and unforgiving game. Each stage lasts seconds, buffered by a few seconds of visual transition, so there's a strange rhythm to playing it: constant bursts of intensity with pauses for breathing.

The arenas are populated by a surreal mix of homing bunnies, missile-launching security cameras, mines, Gridrunner turrets and a single slice of psychedelic tiffin. Bag each stage's tiffin for a weapon and score boost and blow away everything else; stages end when all of the free-floating enemies have been killed, regardless of whether you snaffled the cake. And just to emphasise, this takes place over seconds.

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