June 29, 2015 5:30 AM | Joel Couture
I don't know why they even give me a shoot button in shmups, because I never want my gun to stop firing. Ever. I need to blast me some enemy shuttles, and I can't do that unless I'm firing constantly. Still, every once in a while, a neat shmup comes along that asks me to relax my trigger finger in some neat ways. Super Star Path puts you in a top-down alley choked with enemies practically begging to get shot down, but you've got to carefully decide what you're going to blow away. Pick the right enemy and your path will open up for you. Choose wrong and you'll find yourself staring down an invincible wall of unbeatable ships, waiting for the screen to crush you to death.
Super Star Path draws a bit from color-matching puzzle games in that, if you shoot an enemy of one design or color, it will blow up all of the nearby enemies that are the same. The outliers that aren't the same get turned into invincible barriers, though, so you have to look the screen over, try to chart the best route, and fire away. The screen scrolls constantly, encouraging just that tiniest bit of panic that makes players make fast, but bad, decisions. It's not hard to shoot the wrong enemy style and brick yourself into an impossible route, and memorization won't help players either since the game randomizes the enemy sets each time you try a new stage.
This might sound a little slow and deliberate for shmup fans, but there are challenging bosses to face that shower the screen in bullets. These can be made easier through collecting crystals as you play through the earlier enemy sections, but these are only found by killing the right enemy. Which means trying to kill as many ships as you can, which means you're far more likely to shoot the wrong thing and block yourself in. With a few simple goals and power-ups along with the nuances of the color-matching mechanic, Super Star Path sounds like it adds a lot of strategy to games where I'm used to shooting everything as fast as I can.
Super Star Path is available for $2.99 on Steam and Itch.io. For more information on the game and DYA Games, you can head to the developer's site or follow them on Facebook, YouTube, Google +, Tumblr, and Twitter.