Shooting games typically capture the gung-ho spirit of the trigger-happy grunt. Release on the other hand aims for the tension of the patient sniper.
Not that this abstract arcade game bears any resemblance to sitting in an abandoned building taking pot shots at distant targets, you understand.
But it is all about picking your moment to take that shot. And about relatively protracted spells of monitoring enemy patterns followed by a single tension-relieving release.Give us a wave
Positioned in the middle of a black screen, with various starkly drawn enemy sprites seemingly culled from the Space Invaders era circling like sharks, your polygonal craft has just one means of defence.
Press and hold anywhere on the screen and a 360 degree energy wave will emanate from your craft, increasing in width as it spreads.
This expansive pulse will destroy anything it touches, but only when you release the screen.
Capturing multiple enemies simultaneously in that wave is the key to success. But you also need to be aware which of the enemy types are on screen at any one time.Release your enemies
You soon learn to prioritise, first taking out the angry red arrows that head straight for you, then the cowardly orange circles that keep their distance while pelting you with fast-moving bullets.
But there are other things to consider. There are stars that fix themselves into a low orbit around you. These bestow you with bonus points but are susceptible to your attacks as well.
Amidst the chaos you'll also need to keep an eye out for the incoming green power-up blobs. These imbue you with vital enhancements like shields and faster or wider attack waves. But if you're not careful they can easily become caught in the cross-fire.
Release is a very simple game with a pretty limited premise. But that concept is just about fresh and clear enough to stand out in the midst of an overstuffed retro-shooter genre.