Shell Shock LIVE: The logical conclusion to the classic artillery game.

Artillery games have been around a while. Many were distributed as demos with PC related magazines or even as full source code within the magazine itself. Later when the dial up Bulletin Board  Services and Internet came along we had the luxury of downloading a copy to disk and sharing it with friends. Friends we’d often lose (at least until lunch) when ever we splattered them accross a colorful pixelated landscape. These games made it to the computer labs and offices of many a school and were among the most successful time wasters for students and faculty. Flash games made a splash to such a degree many sites still host these games and use various HTML5 tricks to make them run. WebGL does a great job too in most respects. Before these standards existed the only way to get into one of these games in the lab was to have a really cool teacher and the right access. You can forget all that now though. Just jump on your laptop or Windows tablet and bring up Steam. WHAMMO. Shell Shock LIVE!

I adore this game. Being good at Scorched Earth won me a lot of bets and earned me a lot of free sodas and candy. Other folks played similar games though. Cannon Fodder for Macintosh comes to mind as does the QBASIC classic ‘Gorillas’. Shell Shock live borrows a lot from these oldies and does it with a gorgeous presentation in both visuals and audio. The game supports a very legacy-minded ‘hotseat mode’ which you may have seen in some Android and iOS games. They’re the ones that tell you to pass the device to the next player. It supports controllers. It supports online multiplayer. It can also be purchased on steam in a convenient 4 pack.

For me the game has only one major issue. It suffers from what I like to call FFF or Freemium False Fanfare. It’s that naughty mobile app habit of making a lot of noise and splashing around a lot of color and special effects to celebrate minutia. If I could turn that off in favor of a simple feed of what XP I earned and what weapons I unlocked I’d be that much happier with the game. Some might complain that the game never tells you what exactly weapons do but I prefer it that way. Sometimes it leads to some accidental awesome or some hilarious fail.

Score: 98/100
Just give us a way to turn off those annoying ‘winning game’, ‘unlock’ and ‘level up’ screen fulls of particle effects and the epilepsy inducing celebration screens..
You’ll get a perfect 100 from me then :3

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