Hyper Sentinel is an upcoming retro-inspired space shooter that tasks you with taking down massive war vessels. Your craft while much smaller than your targets is capable of zooming around the place to slowly but surely chip away at their defenses. As you may imagine, a valuable war vessel won’t be alone, and you will also have to fight off the smaller enemy ships. Your basic weapon will be dual lasers which takes up the single button used in this game other than the d-pad for movement. Holding down the fire button will cause your ship to speed up allowing you to quickly escape from foes or dive right into the fight if you prefer.
The play area that you can navigate in will only be a tad larger than the actual vessel you need to destroy meaning that you can not fly off into the distance when things go south. You can flip your ship to fly the other direction which has the added benefit of being able to dodge projectiles when doing this. If an enemy manages to hit you, it isn’t that big of a deal as your shield can take several impacts before you find your ship a smoldering wreck. Avoiding taking any more damage for a couple of seconds will recharge your shield completely so you can fly back in with a vengeance.
There are three difficulty modes to choose from in this demo. Them being, Normal, Hard, and Retrogamer. Aside from simply making the game harder, it also makes some background parts of the stage now physical. Navigation will now trickier as you can no longer zoom around carelessly least you find yourself crashing face first into a giant hunk of metal you’d previously be able to pass through. It adds another element into the game to be aware of though if you just want to shoot and not worry about that, Normal is still a decent challenge that will keep you on your toes. Once you’ve damaged your target enough, they will unleash their guardian as their final trump card.
Guardians are where you will really need to be at the top of your game as they are more than capable of quickly shooting you down if you get cocky. You will still have to worry about smaller ships gunning at you as well, but as luck will have it, they occasionally carry power-ups. These can range instantly recharging your shield to doubling your firepower which will be a godsend against a guardian. Destroying everything in sight is all well and good but to add that extra incentive there are also points and high-scores to be had. Keeping the combo going by playing aggressively is key to racking up a huge score.
In total, this demo features three levels to fight your way through, and it feels pretty polished. The controls are tight, I ran into no technical issues, and it does get you excited for the full release. Like games of old, it is easy to pick up but hard to master and even more difficult to put back down. From the one button control scheme, gameplay and awesome the soundtrack it does capture the retro feel it was going for while still maintaining more modern elements such as regenerating shields to ease in the younger audience. Not to mention that they are selling their game via a nifty looking cassette/usb device via their website.
Hyper Sentinel is set to release for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and the PC this Summer.