Jet Lancer, from Code Wakers Studios and published by Armor Games Studios, is an 2D sidescroller-style arcade shooter, full of action where the player will have to fight his way through waves of enemies and defeating some Bosses along the way.
The player controls an experimental fighter jet, which is apparently haunted by a strange AI prototype and spends most of the time inside the flight deck, taking over the controls of the pilot Ashlyn.
Ash is part of the group of “misfits” who occupy the main stage of the narrative. They’re trying to understand why so many metal thieves are present in the surrounding areas. But a narrative in a 2D shooter? It is rare for a title with these characteristics to have such a long line of text, but in fact, it is very welcome. The entire dialogue is presented between lines of text without voice acting, between, and during combats.
The group thus finds itself in the middle of a mission to save the world. A very old underwater base has been discovered with control properties of giant mechs, which are being controlled by people with bad intentions.
However, the main thing about Jet Lancer is its gameplay that makes any player feel like a movie doublet, with all the action, explosions, and stunts that are needed to escape all enemy attacks. It is quite common for the screen to be filled with enemy ships and not even for a second you feel any break in terms of performance.
At his disposal, the player has a machine gun that allows you to fire a stream of bullets, a special weapon with several options, from missiles to a line of explosives and the ability to “charge weapon” that has guided missiles, even drones that help to shoot down enemy targets. All of these modules can be picked up during the story mode and make it possible to customize the ship however you want.
Now about the ship, it is possible to fly in any direction, rotate on itself to avoid attacks and perform acrobatics.
All the graphics, action, and fights against “Bosses” make Jet Lancer stand out from the rest of the genre titles. In fact, these confrontations are the real highlight of the experience. Although not necessarily difficult, the different attack patterns mean that the player needs to approach them differently. Fights against a giant sphere or a mechanical snake that flies and manages to dive into the ocean require, of course, different attack strategies that leave any feeling of repetition aside.
Between missions, a 3D world is presented, allowing you to control an aircraft carrier and choose the missions available at the moment. In total it is possible to count 40 missions. Although there is nothing but plains and water, the change in perspective is, in fact, a refreshing touch.
After a few rounds and with the game mechanics in place, each mission lasts only a few minutes. However, in situations like “score attacks” they can get a little more complicated. There are several factors such as the score that each type of weapon presents, in this situation the skill, the time, and the strategies are hand in hand.
All of this together, adding a great soundtrack perfect for fighting enemies, reveals a vibe of titles from the 80s but with a current and quite successful face. Although a little short it is very appealing for enthusiasts of the genre.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by Armor Games Studios.]