Every Extend is a hectic top-down shooter that distinguishes itself by offering a unique method of attacking and requiring players to exercise both caution and precision. The basic setup is similar to Smash TV or Asteroids. The player is confined within the single screen while clusters of enemies float into the arena from all directions. Rather than firing projectiles to destroy the enemies, the only way to attack is to detonate the ship. If an enemy is caught in the explosion it too explodes, hopefully setting off a chain of explosions.
Chaining together explosions is very important. Not only does it increase the score multiplier of any single explosion, but it adds time bonuses to the constantly ticking down clock. Anytime the ship is detonated, a few additional seconds are subtracted from the amount of time that’s left. This creates a situation where balancing quick reaction times with planning ahead a few seconds becomes imperative. It keeps you on the edge without becoming overwhelming.
Every Extend takes a decidedly minimalistic approach to the presentation. Models are simple polygons and the color palette consists mainly of muted gray, pink, and orange tones. Rather than feel cheap or boring, this style keeps everything focused on the gameplay. However, it still manages to impress, with backgrounds that evoke Mode 7 graphics and music that fits the pseudo techno theme perfectly. The biggest problem with the game is odd user interface. All of the text presented during gameplay is vertical, and it makes keeping track of the score, time limit, and multiplier difficult when it doesn’t need to be.
Complaints aside, Every Extend is a great game. The concept is easy to grasp but difficult to master and keeps you coming back again and again.
Tyler Curran is someone who fondly remembers scribbling out notes about games back when he first learned to write. Who knew design documents scrawled in crayon would lead to him becoming a game design major?