Buckle your seat belts and hold on to your hats as you're taken on a space ride like never before in the most stunning geometry war's copy to date, Vector Effect is an explosive blend of fast and frantic action which quite simply put provides the best free online space shooter.

Shooting games themselves are a very popular genre for the casual gaming fan as they deliver an instant pick up and play game unlike some of the more in depth games such as those found in our strategy games category. This also means that there are an abundance of free online shooters all vying for the players' attention. This makes it extremely difficult for a new comer to get noticed amongst the casual gaming circuit and requires something of truly epic proportions to gather a loyal following. With this in mind Juice-Tin (Vector Effect's sole developer) spent a considerable amount of time developing the Vector Effect game with his sole aim being to produce a game that would delight all space shooting fans.

One of the most admirable qualities about Vector Effect is the survivability chance which is clearly lacking in geometry wars. Unlike geometry wars Vector Effect allows the player to take several hits before perishing which gives a more realistic chance of survival and improves considerably enhances the game play. The game's greatest asset is its stunning graphics and visual effects which provides the player with an awesome space shooting experience. The vector enemies intermingle in the space arena to produce spectacular visuals never seen in a flash game before. Cosmic and colourful spectrums are hurled about the screen as your bullets tear through the vector enemies creating a surge of spectacular destructive waves.

Let's now take a look at the specifics of the arcade mode

Starting Out...

Starting out you control a vector ship that can fire 1 bullet at a time. Your enemies appear singularly on the screen one at a time and it's not long before you gain your first level up. These enemies are slow and easy to conquer, they are known as bouncers and cutters. They may not be as formidable as later enemies but they can prove extremely annoying in large clusters and when combining with more difficult opponents will be the perpetrators of your destruction.

Progressing...

As you progress through level 5 and beyond you will notice the increasing emergence of black holes which require your immediate attention unless you enjoy having a cluster of stars up your rear end when they explode. Dodgers also come into the mix and can be highly annoying as they are difficult to neutralise, unsurprisingly they dodge out of the way of your bullets! Dodgers have this irritating ability to gather round you in mass numbers.

Going beyond the average player...

The average player will rarely get beyond 1 million points as the game proves literally too intensive for the average casual gamers skills. For the player wishing to gain a high score on the leader board, you're going to have to become attuned at coping with multiple snowflakes, snowballs (a huge cluster of snowflakes), crossers, chargers and stalkers (who charge straight for you like a bull in a china shop). If you have many stalkers come at you at once be prepared to jet around the screen to avoid being turned into space dust. Later levels prove spectacularly chaotic in Vector Effect and will see you eventually squinting intensely at the screen as your eyes grow tired of the constant need to shift your space ship into a new free space to avoid your inevitable demise.

Upgrades/Level Ups

The upgrades available will easily satisfy all space shooting fans. Vector Effect very much sticks to the upgrade concept of Geometry Wars choosing to focus on speed of fire, number of bullets fired, the ships last ability and the bullets further impact. Although a few more varying upgrades would have been nice to hold the players attention beyond level 20 there are enough options to suit the standard set by the majority of players who will fail to reach this level.

Playability

It is very easy to control your ship with lightning quick game controls you will find that manoeuvrability is not a problem. It was important that these controls were designed correctly to ensure the player has a realistic chance in surviving the later overcrowded levels.

Fire response time is also very fast and you will be pleased to know that aiming your shots is done by a simple move of the mouse cursor. The game's graphics require a fast running pc so be ready for plenty of lag if you have an outdated rust bucket.

Game Verdict

Vector Effect delivers 'almost' everything a player would desire in a space shooter. With its visuals and playability it clearly leads the way for the space shooting genre for free online games. Backed with intensely difficult later levels it revitalises the classic high score concept found in old fashioned shooters such as Space Invaders and Asteroids. If there is one hang up it's the variety of upgrades which we felt could have seen slightly more attention to detail, having said that the average player will most likely not even finish with the upgrades which are available before perishing.

  • Playability: 10/10
  • Graphics: 10/10
  • Originality: 8.5/10
  • Game Detail: 9.5/10
  • Addictiveness: 10/10

Final Score: 95%