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Alien Hominid

A sensationally original web-based game was released in 2002 that set the internet alight. That game was Alien Hominid, and it was downloaded a whopping nine million times.

Spruced up and released as a full-blown title, Hominid is looking and playing sharper than ever. Our yellow bug-like extraterrestrial pal romps his way through 16 levels of blasting heaven in a quest to recapture his UFO.

Hominid is a 2D two-player side-scrolling shooter that plays similarly to Metal Slug or Contra, but sports a look that's reminds us of Viewtiful Joe.

In terms of boss fights, Hominid doesn't let the side down one iota, featuring bosses so monstrous the camera actually needs to pan out to fit their fat arses on the screen.

The hand-drawn artwork is as effective as it is cutesy. Blast enemies, lop them in half, burn them, freeze them, bite their faces off or even burrow under the pavement if you fancy a spot of temporary sanctuary.

There's also a selection of vehicles (including Hominid's UFO!) to hijack and use against your foes.

We do, however, have a few minor reservations with the yellow fella. Enemy fire can be mighty hard to spot at times, and the game is insanely difficult in places. Our preview code also tended to suffer from the odd bout of slowdown.

Still, if - like us - your idea of gaming heaven is spending hours committing enemy attack patterns to memory, then you'll go ape for a go on Alien. Just watch out your chest doesn't burst with frustration.

Alien Hominid is out for Gamecube now and is released for PS2 and Xbox on 27 May