Earth Atlantis is a visual delight when you first see it, but everything that I loved about it, eventually became its downfall. The visual style is one not unlike my own school doodles of monsters and space ships, and other things. Naturally, my classroom doodles were far less refined or focused. Earth Atlantis, on the other hand, has a very focused style; everything is some kind of sea creature look alike robot.
In Earth Atlantis, the world is submerged in water. The Statue of Liberty prominently stands in the background of the first area, albeit mostly submerged in water along with whatever buildings weren’t destroyed in the apocalypse that ravaged this world. Other major landmarks can be found throughout as you make your way through the game. The player is a Hunter that pilots a highly customizable submarine to take on the giant sea beast machines that he’s hunting. The premise is interesting, but it doesn’t really go anywhere beyond setting the scene and explaining the art style. In its defense SHMUP style games don’t need (and have never needed) a story to be enjoyable.
So is it enjoyable? Yep. Really fun shooter with a sort of Metroidvania design to it. There are no levels to speak of, and you unlock new areas as you fight different bosses. When you die, you start back at your last checkpoint, of which there are far too few, with no weapon upgrades. You’ll have to grind some of the lesser creatures and backtrack a bit in order to get your ship back up to snuff. So what’s the catch? As I said before, the art style eventually becomes its downfall. As much as I enjoy how this game looks, it starts to become monotonous. In many other shooters, even if the gameplay doesn’t change too much, the stages vary in color and tone. In a monochrome game, you’ve got to do something else to keep things fresh, and Earth Atlantis just doesn’t. It’s still enjoyable, but only until you grow tired of its visuals.
This is further exacerbated by the fact that, while there are other ships to unlock, you don’t unlock anything until you’ve beaten the game. Earth Atlantis isn’t that hard of a game, but it is challenging, and you will probably die quite a few times in your attempt to finish it. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I tried, took on quite a few of the bosses, but I started to grow tired of the samey visuals around the half-way point. I wish I could comment on Hunter Mode, and if I do beat it, I’ll update this review.