Score Rush Review

Score rush is a four player co-op bullet hell shooter created by Xona Games. It can be found on the Xbox 360 indie marketplace for $1/80 points.  This game requires skill, quick reflexes and technique in order to master. Score rush can only be played locally, no online play is supported.

The point of the game? Well the point is to destroy everything on the screen before it destroys you. As you destroy enemies you gain points and power-ups making you more powerful and building a trail of supporting ships (similar to the option power up in R-type) that follow along behind you. You get 3 lives then your done! No continues or checkpoints to rely on, this game is all about surviving the endless barrage of enemies and the bullets they fire in order to get the best score possible.

The controls for this game are very simple, move with the left stick, shoot with the right stick and bring death to everything on the screen with your right bumper which are your bombs. Of course, these bombs are in short supply and need to be used in dire situations. The visuals for the game are a cross between geometry wars and a Rogers waters concert. Creating a party for your eyes between the background, the psychedelic effects and the bright neon bullets that litter the screen from your enemies. Not only will your eyes be satisfied, but your eardrums will be inundated with a head banging background tune to keep you pumped while you try to survive the bullet hell onslaught.

Interesting aspects that I found with this title are that the whole playing field is not seen to the players all at once. The screen will follow players and scroll left from right and right from left to reveal the rest of the battlefield. This in turn creates more opportunities to dodge your enemies bullets as well as creates much
needed space to help you survive. This game is tough, but it is extremely fun. I have yet to play through once on normal with a friend or on my own and make it to the final boss. The frantic dodging of bullets and constant barrage of psychedelic visuals keep me coming back for more to get to that elusive final boss.

The Good

  • Great visuals
  • Awesome soundtrack
  • Extremely fun to play alone or with friends
  • Lots of replay value

The Bad

  • Sharing lives with your teammates
  • Extra lives are few and far between
  • Not enough variety of power ups
  • Can get lost sometimes when there are copious amounts of bullets to dodge

Final Thoughts
This game with its frantic gameplay, heavy guitar sound track and amazing visuals are totally worth the 80 points I spent on it. This game is a perfect example of the kind of value you can find on the Xbox indie marketplace. I recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of shooters or just a fan of intense gameplay for a great value.

  • Matthew Doucette

    Actually the trailing options are more Gradius like than R-Type like, and the sharing of lives is because the game is meant to be cooperative not competitive. We could have put in an option to steal lives (make it your choice) as Contra/NES did.

    • Ne0_Samura1

      Thanks for clearing up the trailing option. I only mention the sharing of lives because in my experience when playing with other people they tend to die a lot and then when I die I am out of the game which takes away from my playing experience.
      Otherwise however I think you guys there at Xona games make fun, quality games that are of great value. I personally have bought 3 of your titles from Xbox indie games and will probably buy Duality ZF when it is released.

      Keep making awesome games!

      • Matthew Doucette

        Thanks for the awesome feedback! We have considered revival options on the fly to combat that problem. It’s tought. Without stealing lives as we did, in beta testing we found that the worse players got bored because they’d die off to fast! It’s hard to find that balance!

        • Ne0_Samura1

          Understandable, trying to please everyone is next to impossible.

          • Matthew Doucette

            Making games is all about balance… and a lot of guesswork! There is no right answer. Only balances.

  • Dylan Chaundy

    This is by far the best XBLA indie game I’ve ever played! It reminds me of Super Star Dust HD and Geometry Wars which are both great shooters. 80 points is an absolute bargain!

    • Matthew Doucette

      Wow, Dylan, thank you so much! I’ll have to get a PSN and play Super Star Dust HD and Pixeljunk Shooter sometime… as well as the two Solder-X games. There’s probably more I’m missing out on too. I appreciate your comments!