I’ve flown small ships, medium-sized ships, even massive ships in SHMUP games over the years. Heck, there were even a few instances where my aircraft was a jetpackin’ witch! But a bat? That’s new and pretty darn neat. Even more so, since Gongbat is able to blow stuff up with the power of… sound (ie. echolocation)! Time to put an end to the evil schemes of yet another crazy scientist.
Aside from the bat aspect, Gongbat – the game – plays much like a traditional side-scrolling shooter. Except for the fact that you’re able to transform through the power of gongs, that is! No, really: once fully powered, at the press of a button, you’ll morph into a more powerful form, complete with a unique ability. Oh, and you have an actual health bar, as opposed to the one-hit-and-you’re-dead of most other genre entries. Bound to come in handy, given the fierce opposition you’ll have to deal with across the game’s five different, not to mention rather large, areas.
The Gongbat is an ancient creature that conceals the ability to pull energy from sound around it. Better yet, when in the presence of ringing prehistoric gongs it changes its form completely, gaining strange new abilities. Legend says it’s the most powerful creature in existance…
Everything from head-shaped rocks to firebreathing dinos and even a deadly robot or to, are all present and accounted for, each with their own unique attack pattern and such. Heck, some even have a brief ‘I’m gonna kick your ass’ intro of sorts before he/she/it engages in explosive and deadly combat with Gongbat. Not that any of them really stand a chance though, as each slain foe only serves to increase your power, health, speed and gong charge, through a neat little upgrade system.
Needless to say, before long, you’ll be blowing up them pixellated monsters before they even know what hit them – all while rockin’ to the funky background music (available from Bandcamp). Or… maybe you’ll die horribly, time and time again. That’s also a possibility, but at least the checkpoint system is quite generous (perhaps a bit too much), so you’ll rarely lose much progress upon failing.
Even though you’ll be quite busy blasting abominations (aka. the bad guys), every now and then, a ‘cage alert’ will appear at the top of the screen. You’ll probably want to engage in this little mini-game of sorts, which requires you to match the on-screen shape within a time limit, freeing captured animals if successful. After all, being a bat doesn’t mean you get to ignore everyone else in need. Just saying.