While it has many solid elements of fast-paced multiplayer mayhem, the control scheme shoots it in the foot
It has to be tough when you’re working on an indie title that’s narrowly focused on a pretty specific type of play, because every detail matters… and if you have a misstep in the wrong area the experience can suffer for it. Unfortunately I’d say that’s the case for AlphaLink, a local multiplayer shooter that has a number of elements that work well but whose control scheme prevents it from sticking the landing. You’ll take on 3 other competitors, whether humans or bots filling in, jumping between platforms, trying to grab power-ups, and simply trying to stay alive across a number of modes. Online play is enhanced by numerous elements looking to add some flavor you rarely see, and that’s no doubt appreciated by people looking to stick with it and invest a little time. The problem is that fundamentally the controls are more cumbersome and awkward than they should be, opting to over-leverage the left stick for both movement and aiming for shooting rather than embracing a twin-stick scheme and really opening up your ability to quickly maneuver and shoot with pinpoint accuracy while on the run. Yes, you can absolutely adapt to and get used to this scheme (and some people may even consider it to be a better way to go), but having played the game’s competitors that are more effective with their control schemes they really leave this experience in the dust by comparison in terms of speed, intensity, and fun. The price is fair, and there’s absolutely a stab here at a value added online experience (though history says that how indie games fare in terms of community for more than a few weeks is pretty poor almost across the board), but I’d say if you’re looking for the best in fast-paced and intense multiplayer shooting play there are better options out there.
Justin Nation, Score: