Showtime 2073 is an odd mix of old school FPS and Pacman. We play as a nameless protagonist as he picks up a certain amount of pellet each round all while being chased by tons of astronaut looking fellows out to beat the crud out of you as the crowd cheers on. No explanations for anything is given, just press enter to start the game and take too long to question just what is going on and you’ll get karate chopped into oblivion. You can take up to 5 hits from these human enemies and while not threatening at all on their own they do come in large numbers so it is rather easy to take a hit while distracted on the pellets. Regardless of their numbers you will still have a massive advantage in the form of a laser gun with infinite ammo or recharging. You could literally hold the fire button down from the beginning of the game until the end with no side effects like kick back,overheating or anything you’d expect from an FPS.
While the guns and combat do lack any sense of hard hitting impact the human enemies do have ragdoll physics which make it very entertaining to blast through hordes of them. For some reason the developers added a rather absurdly annoying feature that slows the game down after shooting killing an enemy. I honestly thought I was experiencing unusual slowdown as it persisted even when I turned down all the settings but it was in fact a “feature”. With the amount of enemies you’ll be shooting down at any given time this slowdown will be active for most of the game which just makes the game feel awkward and sluggish. Along with your trusty gun you’ll also have access to 10 rockets for each red pellet you collect. Everything in this game is destructible which is a big plus as you can simply blow up the mazes instead of searching for an exit while the enemies close in on you. Or you can even use it to blow up the cheering crowd that will never seize to amuse me.
As cool as blowing stuff up is it can also come back to haunt you as you may blow a hole straight through the floor, forget about it and fall to your demise later on if you aren’t paying attention. There are no other forms of attacking or weapons so it can get old rather quickly. You can jump rather high though you jump just low enough to not be able to go over walls. I find jumping to be a rather pointless thing to do as enemies can and will treat you like as a volley ball in a inescapable chain. Physics are very floaty while in air and it is not rare that an attack will send you several feet up into the air and cost you most of your life on landing since there is fall damage. Sprinting is the only time you won’t be able to shoot though the time between sprinting and being able to shoot is nearly non-noticeable meaning you can easily blast someone just a few feet in front of you. The focus of this game is not really on the combat but collecting the pellets. No matter how many enemies you take down more will spawn in and you will never have time to stop moving.
New enemies such as spiders and mechs make there way into the game later on which are not all that threatening. Your main threat in this game will be the electrical fence at the corners of the levels. They kill you so fast that it leaves little time to escape and is the main reason you don’t jump as your doomed if an enemy knocks you into it. It is a pretty unnecessary addition honestly and can very easily be mistaken for any other wall. Some from a shock that still damages you but also repulses you away would have been a better implementation for this hazard. The electrical fence is the only hazard in the game so you’ve only the enemies to worry about if stay away. Some levels have 100 pellets to collect while others are more arena based and requires you to collect only 10 but has an absolute ton of enemies after you. The green pellets that restore your health are usually the ones you’ll want to collect only when you must in case you need them later while on a arena map.
One thing you’ll want to change before starting the game is the key bound to closing the game. It is set to the Escape key by default while pausing the game is Tab. The rest of the controls are perfectly fine and work like any other FPS out there. This does feel much more old school than it does like a modern FPS. While you do move slow until sprinting, you can jump rather high,have no iron sights and have a health bar to worry about instead of the usual regenerating health. Shame this game doesn’t feature any other modes other than going through the five levels as a simple survival type mode would be a pretty fun addition where you can enjoy the ragdoll physics and destruction without worrying about pellets. A mode such as this would make this a great title to blow off steam. As it is though every time you start the game you’ll have to go through all the levels again to reach the mechs, spiders and turrets which can quickly get tiresome. While Showtime 2073 has some rather serious flaws and will get old fast it should be kept in mind that it is priced at two dollars. Go in expecting cheap, mindless fun and you will likely get your moneys worth as you laugh at some poor bloke that fell through a hole right before being falcon punched right down there yourself.