Indie Review: Call Of Tomsk-7
Call of Tomsk-7, developed by Red Tree Games, is an indie old-school, arcade shooter that focuses on survival. You need to survive, rack up a high score and try to wipe out all of your enemies.
- Worth The Time?Yes, undoubtedly for those looking for old school shooter fun.
- Things LovedIt's great old-school arcade shooting, it's highly addictive, the fantastic soundtrack can make you feel like a bad ass or get you really immersed, the visual style is strangely absorbing and really well done, it's great fun to play, the unlocks are entertaining and a goal worth pursuing through the score system, it can get enjoyably challenging, it's seriously cheap, hats.
- Things HatedThere's only one level, there's a lack of gun variety, no difficulty settings to spice things up, very few enemy types, you accumulate points slowly.
- RecommendationIf you find yourself in the mood for a fun old-school arcade shooter, then this game comes highly recommended. It's carrying a very low price tag as well, so that should make the decision easy for you.
- Name: Call Of Tomsk-7
- Genre: Arcade Shooter
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Red Tree Games
- Publisher: Red Tree Games
- Price: R26.50
- Reviewed On: PC
Call of Tomsk-7, developed by Red Tree Games, is an indie old-school, arcade shooter that focuses on survival. Dangerous and horrifying monsters are emerging from the abandoned Soviet-era Tomsk-7 biological weapons factory, and it’s up to you to take the fight to them and erase them off the face of the earth. The aim of the game is that you need to survive for as long as possible, rack up the highest score you can and try to wipe out all of your enemies. There’s one thing I particularly liked about this game, and that is that you can actually complete it and win rather than just endlessly carry on until you eventually and inevitably meet death. However, even though you can win, the game does offer replay value because you can come back for more to unlock bonus weapons and gear, and of course because it’s quite an addictive game and it’s fun to challenge yourself to beat your own score.
This is a side-scrolling shooting game where you’re placed in a relatively compact environment and need to move left and right to eliminate any monsters that spawn. You’ll control your character with the standard WASD keys, and use left click to fire. Reloads don’t happen automatically, so you’ll need to be wary of how many bullets are left in your clip. Right click is for secondary weapons such as Molotov cocktails, land mines, Tomahawks and anti-bug smoke bombs. You can scroll through these with the mouse wheel, and they’re all fun to use and quite lethal. Monsters constantly spawn randomly and, while they start off few in numbers, eventually you’ll find yourself in a very intense fight for survival. To help you out, you’ll be able to call in a helicopter on your spot to drop off ammunition, but this ability requires a cool down time after use. Lastly, you can pause the game at any time using the space bar, but this also seems to cut the music for a short while and can lead to a new track starting. I’m not sure if this was intentional so you can change the track, or if it’s just a bug. It’s nothing serious though.
I liked that you can select your gear before starting a round, and you’re able to unlock more by getting the required number of points. There are a handful of guns, and then there are also lovable hats, which give you a unique appearance as well as a bonus to aid you in surviving. For example, the basic hats give you 35 uses of a select secondary weapon at the beginning of a round, while a more advanced hat protects you from bugs attacks. While the unlock system adds replayability and is pretty fun, there’s a lack of gun variety in the game. This is emphasized by the fact that they’re all machine guns, and each one is blatantly better than the one that came before it. It would have been nice to have some trade offs and preference involved, or at least more weapons, like a shotgun for instance. On the note of variety, I also wished that there was more than one level in the game or at least a few extra backdrops, because after a while of playing the setting can start to feel repetitive.
There are three main enemies in the game. The first are strange, zombie-like monsters that are slow, but move faster if you shoot them anywhere but their heads. If they get too close, they instantly kill you by biting you clean in half. Then there are these flying bugs that attach themselves to your head and try to eat your brains. They die in a single hit, and you can deal with a large crowd of them with one anti-bug smoke grenade. Finally, there’s a large, hive-like creature that spawns flying bugs, and unleashes a hoard of them when it dies. These enemies are your highest priority, and the most troublesome. I do wish that the game had more enemy types, as there are too few, but fortunately they stay fun to kill. The game starts off slowly, as enemies spawn generously, but after a while things really begin heating up, and it becomes enjoyably challenging. No matter how tough things got or which manner I eventually died, I never felt frustrated or like I was killed unfairly. Every death could have been prevented, and came down to my inability to act fast enough. I really liked that aspect, and it’s the mark of good game design. The game is just a lot of fun to play, and it keeps you hooked into it.
I also felt that the game lacks difficulty options. While the standard difficulty is very well paced and sufficient to enjoy the game, it can take quite some time to really get into the challenging and hectic parts of the game. This is also because you accumulate points quite slowly, and you receive a hefty bonus for destroying all the enemies and an even larger one for surviving and escaping in addition to that. After becoming experienced at the game, I found myself wanting to increase the difficulty and make things tougher from the get go, and it is a missed feature. On the plus side, it is very addictive and if you like this kind of game you can easily find yourself playing it for a number of hours. Personally, I kept at it until I won in the best way possible, and unlocked everything except for some mystery item that requires an absurd amount of points. Effectively, to get it you’ll need to stick around to kill more enemies despite reaching the end of the road, which is playing a very risky game. Overall though, the unlocks were entertaining and proved to be a goal worth pursuing through the score system. I just feel the game needs more of these unlocks, with variety the main factor in this regard.
The game has a very interesting visual style that I really liked, and it’s definitely one of the best things about the game. While the models are more cartoony and paper-like, the backdrop is very stylised, almost like a harsh painting. It’s a good fit for the game, and I can’t say I have any complaints with it. The presentation is unique, and it’s pretty cool to see in action. Perhaps a small nitpick on my part would be that the game is made to be played in a window, and manually expanded it to full screen, since there are no resolution settings, makes the quality drop. But it’s not too big of an issue since the game is meant to be played in a window, and it works. The audio is another highlight here, and I have to say that the soundtrack is fantastic. It can make you feel pumped and like a bad ass, or get you really immersed into the experience. There was one particular track that actually made me forget I was playing an arcade shooter for a few moments, because it seemed fitting for a much more serious game. And that’s a complement. The sound work is really good, and does wonders to get you in the mood.
In conclusion, Call of Tomsk-7 may feel a bit light on content, but fortunately it carries a very low price tag and this definitely makes it worth it. It’s extremely fun to play and highly addictive, so if you find yourself in the mood for an enjoyable old-school arcade shooter, then this is highly recommended.