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Wolflame Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Wolflame looks and feels the part, but frustrating difficulty spikes and bland stages bring this space shoot-em-up back down to earth. Fans of the genre will like the fast action and cool boss designs, and frugal gamers will like the cheap price. Wolflame is short and sweet, but you're better off playing a classic shoot-em-up from 1992 instead. Rating: 64%
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
If you've spent any amount of time watching the indie scene, then it won't come as much of a surprise that there are a lot of brand new games inspired by old school classics. It goes beyond simply making a 2D action game, as a lot of these throwback releases go to great measures to recreate 8- and 16-bit sprites. While many do a good job of mimicking these old games, it rarely feels completely authentic. But that's not the case with Wolflame. After flying through this vertical shoot-em-up, I was floored to discover it wasn't a port of an arcade game from 1992.

Believe it or not, there's good reason why I was fooled. Wolflame is the newest game from Astro Port, a company who has specialized in shoot-em-ups inspired by the greats of the 20th century. Having already released games like Steel Strider, Gigantic Army and Supercharged Robot VULKAISER, the development team has honed their skills at duplicating the look and feel of classic shooters to an almost scary degree.

This time around, you play a surviving member of the TDF fleet stationed on Sig Fildonia. The team has recently been attacked by an alien force known as the Adorians, and Earth is unable to penetrate the blockade and send support. With death within arm's reach, the only thing left to do is pilot the experimental Siebold craft through ten challenging shoot-em-up stages.

In case you're wondering, this Siebold ship is able to deploy two tiny satellites, giving our hero three times the firepower. The craft will be able to equip several different weapons, including a green burst of energy, aggressive laser beams and homing missiles. What's more, these shots can be upgraded over the course of the level. The gimmick is that you can have different weapons on each side, turning the survivor into a nearly unstoppable force.

Wolflame (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Wolflame starts out easy, giving players more than enough time to upgrade their firepower and find the weapons they like most. I sped through the first few stages without a problem, concerned that the game might me a little too easy. But then I hit a wall. A boss kicked my butt and I had to start building my arsenal over from scratch. Suddenly the game went from fun to punishing, even on the default difficulty.

There are times when you'll be able to snag an item and save your leveled-up weapons, but those rarely popped up before the challenging boss fights. As a result, I found myself dying in cheap ways on overpowered bosses. It's clear that the game wants you to go into these fights with a ship prepared for battle, but they don't throw enough items your way to make that happen.

Wolflame (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I was also a little let down by the level designs. We get the usual forests, factories, train yards and ocean stages, all using similar colors and art assets. It's not until late in the game that we finally head into space, and even that is underwhelming. It would have been nice to see a bit more variety between stages.

While not especially original, Wolflame does manage to get the look and feel right. I love the 16-bit enemies that populate this world and felt indestructible when fully leveled-up. The problem is that the game loses something when stripped of the satellites, especially when it comes to the later boss fights. Wolflame is cheap and surprisingly authentic, but you're better off playing a classic shoot-em-up from 1992.
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