Z-Warp is a decidedly old-school looking vertical shooter that packs a challenge and some real fun, but if you’re like me there’s also a warm-up period to it as you try to force yourself into its style of play. While many decades of conditioning have taught me that my bombs/specials are to be treated with respect and conserved, in Z-Warp you’re not only encouraged to, but as a function of surviving you’ll need to use them quickly, decisively, and often. Rather than a screen-clearing super-weapon it’s more of a utility at times, not just wiping out enemies but also great for grabbing tough-to-reach power-ups. You’ll need to hold onto it for at least a little while to get its damage radius big enough, and care should be taken when the more bullet hell style phases arrive since the blast will cancel bullets and that will absolutely save your ass. Granted, the package as a whole is a bit no-frills but there’s no need to apologize for something that’s easy on the wallet, delivers a solid and at times intense challenge, and simply has a flow and feel all its own to offer.
Justin Nation, Score: