Zone of Lacryma is a very cool vertically scrolling shoot ‘em up with gorgeous pixel art visuals, challenging gameplay and a rich sci-fi narrative that will really suck you in.
Zone of Lacryma is less about frantic bullet hell action and more about maintaining perfect control of your ship. There are bullets to dodge, but often it’s the scenery that will destroy you attempt to squeeze between tight gaps or alter your speed to avoid large moving objects. As you progress you can purchase new upgrades and unlock new weapons for your ship, with each weapon fulfilling a purpose that can be vital in the heat of battle.
Zone of Lacryma wraps each vertically scrolling mission up with a short section where you can explore your mothership and discover more of the story. Shoot ‘em ups don’t generally pay much attention to the story usually, but in Zone of Lacryma it’s one of its best assets. You play a test pilot for a prototype spaceship that will eventually be pilotless and run only with AI. You carry out your missions obediently, but things don’t really feel right, especially when you’re asked to fire on other ships. What’s the real endgame of the mysterious company you work for anyway?
We first featured Zone of Lacryma on Alpha Beta Gamer back when it was still a prototype (which is still available to play in your browser), and were very impressed with the stylsh visuals and the tight, skill based gameplay, and after spending some time with it we’re happy to report that the Beta build improves on this en every single way. The minimalist pixel art visuals and atmospheric audio design help create a wonderfully engaging experience, the focused gameplay is excellent and the dark sci-fi story really gets you hooked. A slick space shoot’em up with style and a superb sci-fi narrative.