Are you a Luke Skywalker, or a Han Solo?
Do you warm to the ninja pilot with the uncanny skills, or the wise-cracking flyboy who wheels and deals and tinkers their way to victory?
In Gemini Strike, you can be both.Vertically aligned
It doesn't look like much, but Gemini Strike smartly combines familiar vertically scrolling shmup action with the endless upgrade path of a modern RPG.
Ultimately, play boils down to dragging your little fighter craft around the screen, auto-shooting waves of enemies to oblivion and avoiding incoming lasers and missiles.
There's some welcome variation here, such as the odd asteroid or minefield, tougher one-off enemy craft, or screen-filling bosses. There's also the occasional section that sees your weapons deactivated, forcing you to run a gauntlet of hot laser death.
But mostly you're just shooting stuff, and that's fine. It's functional to look at, everything moves smoothly and explodes in a satisfying shower of debris and hit points.Market forces
Where Gemini Strike gets a little more interesting is in the many, many upgrades you'll encounter. You'll literally come across a new weapon, shield, or engine every brief level.
These usually come from enemy cargo ships, which require constant pummelling before they give up their loot. It's a satisfying way to earn your upgrades.
It's up to you which ones you bolt onto your ship, and your choice whether you upgrade the ones you've got or flit between new parts like an indecisive schoolboy in a sweet shop.Pilot scheme
There's no substitution for simply being adept at avoiding incoming fire and making proper use of the double-tap special attacks, though, which reveals Gemini Strike's upgrade system to be slightly less essential than you might like.
Indeed, with a premium virtual currency system letting you purchase additional special items, it could even be seen as a cynical IAP-hoovering move.
But that's to discount the simple and proven joy of shooting stuff to earn new ways to shoot stuff. It's a timeless video game trick, and it still works here.
So Gemini Strike is definitely more Luke than Han, but we're more than happy to have a little of that mercenary spirit along for the ride.