Stil Bomber 2 is a freeware shoot-em-up by Tomaxko that I found at FullGames.sk. A bit rough around its edges but it shows a lot of promise from its attention to detail and sheer ambition.
From its creator’s own description of Stil Bomber 2:
… New 10 ships with other skills, more than 100 aliens, 250 Weapons, Mega Bombs and nuclears, about 20 different Upgrades …
It follows the familiar tradition of shooting, collecting credits and upgrading of some of the best shoot-em-ups I have played like Tyrian and Jets N’ Guns but eschews the linear nature of those games for a nonlinear map of a star system which you decide where to proceed after riding each successive area of marauding aliens.
Just a small portion of the starmap
As the crux of Stil Bomber 2 is in the ship upgrading and exploration, the shoot-em-up portion possesses only functionally attractive graphics. Ships explode nicely when fired on but repeatedly seeing the same type of enemy ships level after level really numbs the brain after several missions.
Watch out! An asteroid belt to the left
While graphically unappealing, the shoot-em-up does have its charms due to its attention to detail – destroyed enemy ships don’t always break up into pieces but often end up as floating lifeless hulks which pose as much as a hazard as they were previously while alive. At times, missions also occur in asteroid belts which can quickly deplete your ship’s shields as well as ravage entire squadrons of weakly armoured enemy ships caught in them.
While most of the pilotable ships can absorb quite a bit of punishment, not all upgrades are permanent and can be destroyed when the ship suffers heavy damage or is destroyed by either enemy fire or reckless piloting. In this way, players are prevented from utilizing brute force tacticsand are expected to possess a certain degree of finesse during combat with the enemy hordes which can number over 1000 ships in each mission.
Stil Bomber 2 is however, marred by an inconsistent difficulty level which occasionally alternates between blindingly easy to totally impossible. To be fair, purchasing the Detektor upgrade does alleviate this problem by allowing you to view the threat level of each hostile area before attacking.
Thankfully, lives are cheap in Stil Bomber 2 as your ship is controlled by up to 10 robots which can be affordably replaced with enough of the in-game currency known as CRE or Clear Regulated Energy. Losing your entire robot crew in a mission simply dumps you back to the main menu with all CRE collected to that point where you can re-equip your battered craft and pick another mission from the non-linear starmap.
What Stil Bomber 2 does excel then, is in giving players choices, and those choices start with the selection of a single ship from a generous arsenal of 10 different spaceships to deal death in. The weapon configuration of each ship is fixed so read carefully before picking one because you’ll be stuck with it for the rest of the game.
The Hangar interface for Stil Bomber 2 can be intimidating and unwieldy due to the myriad of upgradable components (with enough CRE or Dignity aka rank promotions) for your ship but should engage players who take a personal interest in tweaking their spacecraft for maximum killing power and survivability.
Even more choices – the complete list of powerups
In summary, Stil Bomber 2 is another one of those games which rewards players who are willing to invest time in it (I recommend at least 45 minutes) and place interesting gameplay over graphical eyecandy.
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