‘TxK’ Review: Blast From the Past

The Vita’s Instant Game Collection for PS+ subscribers this September rounds itself out with “TxK,” an unassuming arcade-style shooter with a deeper history than anyone might even imagine.

“TxK” is the spiritual successor to the 1994 Atari Jaguar game “Tempest 2000,” which in turn was a remake of the 1981 arcade game “Tempest.” It’s an easy call to say that “TxK” is an unsung sleeper hit, as it didn’t receive much attention when it released back in February. Even now as a free game, many gamers likely skipped over it in favor of something flashier. That however, is the wrong instinct to go with.

This game is challenging and well worth any arcade gaming aficionado’s time. The controls are simple and easy to pick up within seconds. Soon enough you’re transported into an eclectic tunnel of colors and shapes, fighting to survive and dominate the leaderboard.

While Sony’s Instant Game Collection usually goes for showing off big brand games that consumers can get their hands on, it’s also great to see them shine the spotlight on smaller guys like Llamasoft. Llamasoft is in actuality an indie studio run by Jeff Minter, a seasoned veteran creator of arcade shooters with well over a dozen titles under his belt.

Minter’s decades of experience in creating this kind of game really shines with “TxK.” The minimalism in control and design come together nicely to create a package that no one should miss out on. Fun and addictive, you simply won’t want to put it down.

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