So, Strawdog Studios alerted us to their XBLA game ‘Space Ark’ recently on a comment to another ARTICLE on FRUITAKU.
And well they might do! For their game SPACE ARK is “chockablock” with FRUT! It’s essentially a Breakout clone where you bounce an animal off your bat/trampoline. You can control the animals a little in the air with one stick, and control the bat/trampoline with the other. To play it evokes head patting / tummy rubbing ambidexterous thinking which makes the whole affair feel like twin-stick shooter Arkanoid with a fruit fixation. IN SPACE!
In fact, Space Ark has everything that should be in every great game:
Simple objective made slightly tricky by quirky control system? CHECK!
Bonus multipliers for skilled players? CHECK!
BUT WAIT – SOMETHING IS WRONG!
Let’s have a look at some of the animals you’re bouncing about…
For some reason this otherwise fruity, sopisticated game with arcade puzzler sensibilies seems to be utterly STUNK UP TO FUCK by these horrific, diseased, ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE TO LIKE characters.
Look at his eyes, man. Look at his face, what expression is that? What is he doing, frowning at me with his mouth and seducing me with his eyes?!
And what on Earth is going on here? Another super-deformed animal richly embued with the sort of disturbingly alien eastern european concept of “cute” that no one outside Yugoslavia can really dig. You know when you used to watch the Moomins and it freaked you out? This.
So, if you want to play a very well tuned action puzzler full to the brim with fruit and clever little gameplay hooks, snap up Space Ark immediately.
However, if you’ve done a lot of drugs in your past and find the above pictures horriffic (I haven’t even began to tell you how FUCKING DISTURBING the blinking animation cop out is) then leave this well alone.
8/10 if you don’t mind the terrible characters and animation
6/10 if you get disturbed by charmless character design easily