There’s no need for twin-stick — it’s Missile Command time. Paying homage to '80s arcade classics, No Stick Shooter is a modern, stationary shooter with retro-inspired visuals and music. Your primary goal is to defend your mounted turret at all costs by blasting away all types of geometric enemies. With four different weapons at your disposal, rapidly switching between them in the heat of battle will counter specific enemies as needed. Wipe the board, save your stronghold, and it’s on to the next level.
No Stick Shooter spends its first ten levels introducing various weapons. Cannons, lightning, lasers, and a defensive-reflect compose your arsenal. You’ll want to use certain attacks depending on the type of enemy, although I was pleased to see that all enemies can be killed by whatever weapon — it just might require a few extra punches. As your turret can and will overheat, managing your fire-rate can make the difference between life and death. However, No Stick Shooter is quite forgiving in providing regenerating shields around your turret that can absorb a good number of hits before dissolving.
No Stick Shooter presents new enemies in almost every level, which keeps its basic arcade concept fresh. From teleporting bubbles to hulking cubes, each stage presents a mix of opponents. Bosses are stronger and more mobile, but you won’t need a specific pattern to vanquish them, just a whole lot of firepower. Aiming your turret is done by either clicking or holding down your mouse and there’s a significant cushion due to splash damage on enemies. Thus, chain kills are a common and satisfying occurrence in your resistance efforts.
Beating stages without worrying about side-objectives is effortless for the majority of the game. It’s almost too easy; even in boss battles. I found myself completing the entire game without losing my turret even once, which is pretty unusual for me and arcade games. That being said, each level has three optional goals and they’re much, much harder to achieve. Still, I would have liked to see a greater challenge from the game at its base level, as players often ignore optional objectives in favor of streamlined progression. Weaker shields would do the trick, as mine took a walloping on a regular basis.
My only complaint other than No Stick Shooter’s low difficulty is its length. I was able to beat the game in around two hours, and at only 30 levels, I was left craving more. I went into No Stick Shooter expecting double the amount of content with more boss variety and challenge. The simplicity of its gameplay demands quantity, and there’s ultimately not enough considering the intermittent bursts of excitement that you get to experience.
No Stick Shooter is a solid retro throwback with a knack for replicating the classic arcade style and bringing it to the modern spotlight. A techno soundtrack beats along with lights and lasers as you progress through each stage, earning loads of points and defending your turret at all costs. It’s a satisfying experience that feels somewhat cut off in the end, but well-thought-out in what content it does contain. I recommend No Stick Shooter for anyone looking for some quick arcade excitement in a modern setting.
No Stick Shooter (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
No Stick Shooter is a solid retro throwback with a knack for replicating the classic arcade style and bringing it to the modern spotlight. A techno soundtrack beats along with lights and lasers as you progress through each stage, earning points and defending your turret at all costs.