October 1, 2014 12:00 PM | James Monkman
Released for Windows yesterday (and Android and Ouya last week), Boris Van Schooten's wavy-navy, Geometry-Wars-at-sea twin-stick shooter Tsunami Cruiser has come on a long way since the early prototype developed for Ludum Dare 29. With tighter controls, super-clean redesigned vector graphics and a new speaker-buzzing, arcadestep soundtrack from BitBurner, blasting away marauding sea critters and alien saucers whilst bouncing about on an increasingly choppy ocean has never been so much fun!
The core mechanic - and indeed one of the reasons why the control system works so well across all formats - is that your ship can only move left or right over the waves, with the ever-changing and explosion-reactive rise and fall of the sea determining your height. You can fire either above or below the water, but your torpedoes/missiles detonate on hitting the ocean surface, resulting in a frantic arcade experience as you race back and forth over the waves in order to get a clean shot at the relentless enemy forces.
Progress through the game is achieved simply by clearing (an undefined) number of enemies on each level, with new types and combinations of attacking units introduced over the first 18 or so stages. I can't help but feel that Boris really missed a trick here - surely 'waves' makes more sense in this context? There are no power-ups or upgrades, just the tsunami, the score counter, a horde of bad guys and your little boat and its dual-purpose torpedo/sea-to-air cannons. It would be nice to see a proper score table added in an update (and of course online tables would be boss), but even as it stands Tsunami Cruiser is more than worthy of a few minutes of your time.
Universally playable via joypad, mouse or touch (even on the browser-based version, which is pretty neat), Tsunami Cruiser is available over at itch.io for free/pay-what-you-want for both Windows and Android. You can also grab it over at Google Play or the Ouya Discover store.