Indie Review: HARPY!SIREN!
HARPY!SIREN! is an abandoned game project by SillySlardy.jpg, but instead of being thrown away it was released for free in its unfinished form as an experiment for gamers to play out of interest.
- Worth The Time?Yes, there's no reason why not if you were a fan of these types of games.
- Things LovedThe colourful visuals, the music, the intense gameplay, the old-school shoot-all-the-things nostalgia.
- Things HatedIt's extremely easy to die, it's a bit unbalanced at times, it can be frustrating, it lacks gameplay variety.
- RecommendationIt's free, and it's pretty awesome to check out if you were one of those who played these kinds of shooters at the arcades back in the day. There's no reason not to play it, as it's a fun ride.
- Name: HARPY!SIREN!
- Genre: Arcade Shooter
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: SillySlardy.jpg
- Publisher: SillySlardy.jpg
- Price: Free
- Reviewed On: PC
You can download the game for free here.
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HARPY!SIREN! is an abandoned project by SillySlardy.jpg, but instead of being written off and thrown away, it was released as a free download in its unfinished state for gamers who are interested. HARPY!SIREN! is a horizontal, old-school shoot-all-the-things arcade shooter that borrows many graphical assets such as sprites, sounds, effects and concepts from other 16-bit shooters and mashes them together to create something fresh and exciting. The game was originally meant to feature six stages, but sadly it was never finished, and as a result only half of the game was released, which includes stages one, two and six. What we have is a pretty intense and exciting shooter that is unfortunately short, a bit unbalanced and a little lacking in gameplay variety, but it’s still worth a look.
The gameplay of HARPY!SIREN! is extremely simple. You move your harpy with the arrow keys, and your task is basically to kill your enemies, dodge their attacks as well as environmental hazards, collect colourful gems to increase your score and make it to the end of the level alive. Enemies and hazards will come at you steadily and without mercy, and you need to be on high alert. You have two attacks at your disposal. The first is your standard fire, which rapidly shoots off needle-like bullets in a wide arc. The spread is quite large, allowing you to hit multiple targets. Your second attack is accessed by entering siren mode at the push of a button, and doing so changes your appearance and allows you to fire off a concentrated beam of energy that does high damage. However, your use of this is governed by an energy meter that depletes quickly, but luckily takes only a few seconds to replenish.
Don’t let the simplicity fool you though. If you have any experience with old-school shooters, then you should have an idea of how intense HARPY!SIREN! can get. You can die pretty damn easily, as it only takes a single hit to kill you. You do have three lives though, but each time you die you’ll be sent back to the last checkpoint, and they can be separated at times. Losing all of your lives will mean game over, but you are able to resume from your last checkpoint so you don’t have to start from the beginning again. Still, despite this, the game can be quite frustrating and unbalanced, especially during boss battles which can get extremely chaotic, and you’ll often die or make a small mistake when the enemy’s health points has sunk to double digits, forcing you to restart the fight. The trick is to learn your enemies’ attack patterns, and adapt and dodge accordingly, but knowing and actually doing are always two different things sadly. The other problem with the game is that it lacks variety in its gameplay, despite being so short, because there are no power-ups or extra attacks to use, and it stays the same.
The graphics are surprisingly a very cool treat. It doesn’t feel like anything is out of place or like the sprites were really taken from other games, even though they were, and forced to fit together. It all comes together rather nicely, and it definitely looks great in motion. The game is also quite neatly polished despite being unfinished, and it’s really vibrant, colourful and dynamic in action. The stages have an awesome sense of variety in their visual design, and it’s great to see. However, it’s the music and sound work that are the real winners here, and they’re both excellent, making the experience a lot more intense and exciting, especially the first level’s soundtrack and the boss battle music.
HARPY!SIREN! is a fun, old-school shoot-all-the-things arcade shooter that could have been really good if it had been finished, but it’s still enjoyable to play in its current state, and it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s pretty entertaining and classy just the way it is, and provides an awesome sense of nostalgia, which can easily make it a gem for its players. There’s no reason not to play it.