Had Descartes played Everyday Shooter before sitting down to write, perhaps we'd know him by a different phrase: "I shoot, therefore I am." (I'll let you have that because it's Christmas - ed). The equivalent of an existential shooter, Everyday Shooter is far more concerned with the visceral experience of shooting that it is with mundane details like objectives and structure.
Each of the game's eight levels possesses a distinct visual style and set of sounds that form a collective experience. For example, the first stage features simple acoustic guitar riffs and a cubic motif. As you destroy the block-shaped enemies, guitar notes sound off and add to the background music.
Move to the next level and you're presented with an entirely different theme. Instead of the squarish foes of the first level, you face organic-looking shapes drawn on an orange background. New sounds accompany the different motif. The desire to see each of the game's gorgeous stages compels you as much as the will to beat the assorted nameless enemies.
Beat them you must, though. Everyday Shooter makes the best of the handheld's sole analogue stick, assigning it to movement of your little shooter pod. Firing is handled via the face buttons.
Naturally, this restricts the angles at which you can shoot; however, pressing down on two adjacent buttons simultaneously allows you to fire diagonally. It's a crude system, but it gets the job done. More often than not, you end up compensating for the limited firing range by moving constantly.
We're not happy to see the lack of control options. Nowhere in the options menu does the game allow you to swap functions for the analogue stick, which is essential for those who are left-handed. You can, however, adjust the aspect ratio for the slightest of advantages. Considering the steep difficulty curve, any edge is a welcome one.
Individual enemies rarely pose a problem in Everyday Shooter - it's the multitudes you have to worry about. Waves of enemies fill the screen with each passing level, varied in their attacks but always the same in their intent to eliminate you.
Pair droves of relentless foes with stiff controls and things get awfully difficult. Patience will see you through, as will unlocking extra starting lives.
Killing specially marked foes triggers chains that eliminate any enemies in the immediate vicinity. Identifying these enemies and then targeting them is the only way to survive the latter half of the game. It's a refreshing twist that encourages you to think about what to shoot rather than firing upon anything and everything.
Chains also reward you with more unlock points than shooting enemies individually. Most enemies drop white unlock points that you can pick up and use to purchase features and bonuses.
Extra starting lives, levels for single play, the option to shuffle the stages while in normal mode, and visualiser effects can all be bought with enough points.
The allure of unlocking Shuffle mode or sketchy effect won't motivate you to play Everyday Shooter - it's the aesthetics. Regardless of the option omissions and control shortcomings, this is likely the most beautiful shooter to grace a handheld.