Proximity Alert!

Proximity Alert
Proximity Alert!


Back in the day Asteroids used to be a pretty snazzy game. Fly around in your little triangle and blow up asteroids into smaller and smaller chunks. Think of it as a service to the other space-faring races. Well, Proximity Alert claims to be a 3D Asteroids game but it definitely is far from 3D and isn’t really as good as the original. Harsh? Perhaps a little. But try it out for a little and judge for yourself.

WASD or arrows control the speed of your ship and the direction you’re facing. A little tap will do just fine as anything more will send you spinning in circles or hurtling from one end of the playing field to the other. A button masher this is not. In fact, with the space bar you can just hold down and fire at will. You don’t receive any penalty for lack of accuracy, but you can and will die if you collide with an asteroid or get hit by an enemy ship. Also the game claims it’s 3D but you’re still stuck on a two dimensional playing field. Come on, even Quake allowed you to go up and down.

Unfortunately the game is all shine and no substance. The graphics really did impress me, but I couldn’t get drawn in due to the lack of depth. The HUD is going to be a handy point of reference; if you look just below your targeting system you’ll see an arrow surrounded by dots. This is your ship with an indicator showing which way you’re facing and how many objects are surrounding you and in which directions.

Now for the sound, or lack thereof. Proximity Alert has no music…absolutely none at all. Granted there really isn’t much to hear in space since sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum but some ambient music would have been really nice to play along with. There’s some voice acting that gives you a proximity alert though by the time you hear that you’re pretty much out of luck anyway.

Now I realize that this review has been pretty harsh so I’m going to be a nice guy and tell what I see as really helping the game along. First off, ease up on the controls. If I hit the button to bank to the left or right, I want my ship to auto-center after I tap it, not keep going in the same direction. Assuming we’re using a flight stick in the ship that’s how it would work anyway. Add that third dimension you’re talking about and make this into a bit of a flight sim. Let the mouse do the controlling for flight and free up the keyboard for some fancier maneuvers. Provide some background music and engine noises, something to let us know we’re not just sitting in a cardboard box. Add some more enemies to provide some variety to the game. Take away the timer and make this more like the original Asteroids by having the asteroids break into smaller chunks that you have to chase down. Integrate the Kongregate API. Seriously, is it that tough to add in a few lines of code if you have the source? Okay, I’ve rambled on enough now.

9/10. Oooh, shiny! Seriously though, beauty is only skin-deep here.

6/10. Not a lot of replay value at all. Gameplay in general is uninspired.

3/10. No music, no mute, minimal sound effects. Some voices, but that’s when you’re already dead.

6/10. A good idea that fell short.

5/10. Controls are far too sensitive.

I really wanted this to be a good game. I think it has a great deal of potential if the author were to expand on it just a bit. 6/10

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