Your regular shmup usually involves one heroic ship going it alone against a horde of baddies, winning against the odds. The Competitor turns all that around, giving you the chance to be the horde against the one.

The rogue ship approaching from the bottom of the screen is constantly firing upwards and it's your job to tactically (and constantly) place down your squadron to stop him in his tracks. The control mechanic works a lot like the recent Pixus puzzler, with a click+sweep motion from the mouse bringing your men into battle. Your ships are being destroyed all the time, so the need to keep replacing them is crucial to success.

It all works really well, even allowing for simple tactics such as putting defensive ships closer to the bottom and more powerful attackers at the top. One problem which arises is with the upgraded ships - after a few levels, there really is no need to use the smaller ships anymore, as they get battered way too easily, so all the upgraded models ultimately replace the starting vessels rather than compliment them.

No matter, though, as this is good blasting fun. Play it at Armor Games.