Chain Blaster
| Chain Blaster

There's a weird phenomenon currently occurring on the Nintendo 3DS eShop whereby developers and publishers are making perfectly good games and then giving them dull and unrepresentative titles.

Take the recent Alien Chaos 3D, for example - it's an awful name that barely describes the game at all, and yet the game itself is great fun.

Chain Blaster is another solid Nintendo 3DS game with a title that suggests otherwise.

Space in chains

To be fair to the title, it at least does a fairly good job of describing what the game is about, albeit in a relatively dull way.

There's a computer virus going around, and you play as a tiny spaceship that has been sent in to eradicate the badness. Enemy viruses rush in from all around the screen, and you need to shoot them all down, shmup-style.

But Chain Blaster comes with a great twist. Rather than just hammering the 'shoot' button, it's all about dodging around the weaving baddies, waiting for the right moment for all of their paths to cross, and then firing a special chain shot to kill them all in one go.

When you fire this chain shot, the enemy that you hit explodes and takes anyone around it down as well. Hence, if enough enemies are all stacked together they'll all go down like dominoes.

It's an incredibly satisfying mechanic. Do you keep waiting, building up the risk in return for a massive score combo reward? Or do you get rid of enemies to keep the screen clear, and then use your regular weapon to take out the rest?

A blast

Chain Blaster is also wonderfully stylish, thanks to slick, smooth animations, great stereoscopic 3D backdrops, and a tasty beat-filled soundtrack.

The game's main issue is déjà vu. You play through the same scenarios over and over again, but a little bit faster each time. It doesn't take long before the experience begins to feel repetitive.

It's a shame, and if this were a full-blown title with multiple worlds, environments, enemies, bosses, and so on I'd be recommending it in a heartbeat.

The online scoreboards definitely help, but nothing can realistically compensate for the drudgery of beating the same boss 20 times in half an hour.

Chain Blaster is certainly worth your time - it's just not worth very much of it. Here's hoping that developer G-Style Games chooses to build on this solid base with a more fully formed sequel.

Chain Blaster

A clever, unique top-down shooter that is ultimately enjoyable, if only for a short while
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.