DIE! DIE! DIE!
New Zealand punk-popsters Die! Die! Die! formed in Dunedin back in
2003. This isn’t their story.
Still, for all we know it may
be set inside one of the band’s members. Yes, Fantastic Voyage
meets Missile Command in a shmup bulging with goop, germs
and other assorted disease-ridden bacterial greeblies. But it’s
cool, ’cos you’re a syringe full of green good-giving, erm, goodness
as you get squirty in three distinct parts of the body – the
intestines, veins and bonce.
These persevering pathogens are
numerous, ranging from fast to slow and dumb as doggy plops to
decidedly devious. You don’t just have green goop to squirt, as
occasional power-ups pop ranging from smart bombs to speed-ups for
you and slowdowns for gremmies. Accidentally explode one though and
you’re briefly powerless. This usually results in failure – and we
guess death for the somebody that you’re supposed to be protecting.
Each of oodles of levels vary slightly in aim and challenge. Survive
a certain number of bacterial blahs, or obliterate a quota to move
on – all the while aiming for a gold medal rather than crappy old
silver or bronze. This is where things can get vexing, as difficulty
levels tend to undulate more than a yodeller’s uvula. Boss levels,
for example, see a ludicrous spike in hardness. Then again, maybe
we’re just shit.
At first encounter presentation can seem a
little lacklustre, but if you actually RTFM that’s built in all
makes sense. We found touchy-feely play best, but button believers
can do their thing happily. Or sadly if they’re maudlin types.
If you’re squeamish then D!D!D! won’t be your go. But
if you dig wickedly challenging, relentless old school arcade-styled
shmups and don’t have a pissweak tummy then you just may find things
– wait for it - infectious.