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Space Giraffe - Xbox LIVE Arcade review

AT A GLANCE
  • Depth of NOT shooting at times
  • The price
  • The frenetic pacing
  • Excessive visual clutter
  • Sub-optimal camera placement
  • The learning curve

Wow. If you don’t know who game design guru Jeff Minter is, run away. This is not for you. If you do know Jeff, and loved (as we have) his previous games: Tempest 2000, Attack of the Mutant Camels, Gridrunner, and pretty much any game that mentions four-legged mammals in its title, prepare for either heartbreak or wish fulfillment. Minter’s psychedelic blastathon Space Giraffe is here. It is both fresh and timeless, both derivative and unlike anything you’ve ever played. And there's a 95% chance you will either love it dearly or absolutely hate it.

In general terms, this is a hyper-trippy, arcade-style shooter that looks at first to be nearly to Atari’s classic arcade shooter Tempest. You’ve got a vaguely C-shaped, geometric thing – your "giraffe" – that skitters on tiptoe around the rim of 100 differently-shaped levels like a cat trying to swipe a goldfish from its bowl.



But your supergalactic neckbeast isn’t fishing. In an impressive display of alien physiology, it’s constantly auto-belching glowing burbles of explosive goop in the general direction of various other geometric shapes that clearly wish you harm.  

Right about here is where Space Giraffe flips the script and makes clear that this is not Tempest - not even close. There’s a white line around each level called the Power Zone - think of it as the water level in the fishbowl, if you like - that constantly rises closer to you, but that you can push back down the tube by killing enemies or by jumping (enabled via power-up).

More Info

Available Platforms: Xbox 360
Genre: Arcade
Developed by: Llamasoft

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