Elders of Madness
R-Type meets Lovecraft. Well, actually, that’s not much of a stretch as the original R-Type featured some very disturbing Gigeresque style enemies already. So, them, it’s not much of a surprise the match-up works in the Cthulu-inspired Elders of Madness, where insanity is all part of the fun.
True to its source material, there is an insanity meter, which appears to gradually decrease over time, and must be replenished via the occasional powerup lest you succumb to the maddening darkness. Overall, though, it doesn’t obscure your vision enough to really make the gameplay too much harder – but it is a neat atmospheric touch.
I’ve never been good at “bullet hell” shooters, Shoot Em Up style games in which your ship had to navigate through a screen virtually covered with projectiles. Although Elders of Darkness appears to be pretty tame compared to the ‘real’ bullet hell games, I still couldn’t make it very far. So, it may ramp up the insanity later, but I can’t give too much insight into that.
However, from what I did experience, powerups were few and far between, and unlike R-Type, there seems to be only one type of powerup (aside from the insanity reducing one), which simply increases the speed of your bullets. The game is quite simple, and a pretty straightforward shooter, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As it is, even if it doesn’t provide an epic 100 hour-long journey, it’s a good flashback to shoot em ups of yore (when they were still called shoot em ups) and a short but insanity-driving way to expend some time before the old ones claim us all.