Every now and then a game comes along that you know little about and it takes you by surprise, Horizon Shift ‘81 on Nintendo Switch is that game.
The retro space shooter somehow takes a well-trodden genre and gives it a cool, interesting twist with the added bonus that it is literally dripping in nostalgia.
The game’s creator is Paul Marrable, an independent video game developer working under the name Flump Studios.
And his game, like Flump marshmallows, will remind you of your youth.
Horizon Shift ‘81 was released before Christmas and has come to prominence after deservedly picking up some great reviews.
The look and feel is decidedly old skool but that’s no bad thing.
The premise is simple but effective and comes with a twist.
Like the genre’s founding fathers Space Invaders, Asteroids and Galaga you shoot at approaching enemies BUT things are ramped up massively by the game’s use of double-sided battlefields.
You can flip between sides to face the other direction so that you can destroy the adversaries coming at you from all directions.
Jumping, dashing and super attacks are key in your armoury as things grow ever more intense the further you progress.
The crowning achievement in Horizon Shift ‘81 - besides the cool double-sided twist - is undoubtedly the thoroughly excellent boss confrontations.
HS81 is also available for PC and the Atari 2600 but The Switch feels like it was made for this, especially in handheld mode.
Speaking of modes, there are plenty of them to play around with and lots of longevity as a result. The graphics and colours are fantastic and the gameplay slick. Retro gaming fans will adore this hidden gem which somehow brings originality to a bygone era.
At £7.19 you will not find a better bargain in video gaming this year. More of this please.