Bio-Interstall Ark, better known as B.ARK, is an interstellar retro shoot’em up adventure from Tic Toc Games
Tic Toc Games’ cartoon-inspired shoot’em up, B.ARK, was featured in last year’s Nintendo Showcase and is aiming to make its mark at E3 2021. At Tic Toc Games’ virtual booth players will be able to repel the Dark Tide, an army of aquatic attackers invading our solar system, with a hands-on demo that is also currently available on Steam.
I played the demo and thoroughly enjoyed it. The opening cinematic hit right in the feels as it shows a person sacrificing themselves for their dog. The dog yelps as it realizes what is happening. It’s pretty powerful and wonderfully contrasts the cute and vibrant animation. Then from there you pretty much jump right into the game. They do kind of skip how four Earth animals become advanced-functioning space fighter pilots, but that’s just me stretching really far to find something to critique.
If you watch my gameplay video, you can see I got cocky and went directly into hard mode. I played a lot of Raiden back in my day, so I figured I’d be ready for B.ARK. I was not. The game is no cakewalk, in a good way. I died about 10 times to beat the one actual level of the game. It’s challenging timing and maneuvering your way through perilous barrages of enemies and obstacles. But once you pick up on the pattern, stop instinctively pressing B (Xbox Controls) to dodge, and learn the patterns you’ll die less and hopefully get a little better. It’s like actively putting together a living puzzle, you eventually get it all together.
The one thing, which is kind of a staple of many games, you start to memorize the levels after dying a lot. Which is an indictment of my skills, but also a pretty common thing. Not everything can be procedurally generated and not everything has to. Just thought I should mention it, as sometimes it is a detriment to the game.
B.ARK is a fun and adorable shoot’em up that provides a real challenge and a surprisingly emotional story. While it’s fun solo, I think the co-op experience would increase the fun factor exponentially. From what I’ve gathered from their other videos, in co-op you’d be able to rescue a fallen teammate and they’ll support you in a sidecar. I feel like that would cut my game overs in half at least. Anyway, you can play/download the demo on Steam, and visit Tic Toc Games booth during E3 2021 to learn more about the game.