Resogun: Save the Last Humans
My son wanted Skylanders: Swap Force for Christmas. Our aging collection of consoles (XBox, PS2, Wii) wasn't a good fit. Only the Wii would play it, and the Wii version of Swap Force has a reputation for being glitchy.
The Wii U has had a rough start, so I didn't seriously consider it. I briefly considered getting a previous-generation console (PS3, XBox 360), which would have given us access to a library of older games and probably allowed us to play many new console games for a year or two. I suspect that might have been the best choice, but the enthusiast in me wanted the PS4, and I was somewhat nervous that we might be in this same position next year with a new game requested for Christmas that can run on PS4 but not on PS3.
So after Santa brought my son a PS4, Skylanders: Swap Force, Knack and a second DualShock 4, I tried hard not to go wild and buy myself a bunch of games. I mostly succeeded.
However, after reading a few reviews, I was tempted by Resogun, which was only $15, and had a good reputation. Resogun is a dual-stick 2D shooter 2D in a circular wraparound cityscape. Essentially an old-school spaceship shooter with modern graphics, physics and particle effects.
It's pretty great, actually. It really reminds me of games like Space Invaders, Galaga (admittedly not side-shooters), Zaxxon, Parsec, but with much more modern game engines. I even really like nearly complete lack of explanation. When you start, the game urges you to "SAVE THE LAST HUMANS", and then wave upon wave of enemy ships start to attack.
As you go along, you start to discover that the humans are trapped, when keepers appear, you must destroy them to free a human, which you can then carry to safety. If you want to know what happens if you don't kill all the keepers in time, what happens if you leave a human alone for too long, what happens if you get killed while carrying a human, then you learn by playing, by losing. It's hard, and it's fun.
There are no cut screens, no tutorial levels, it's just you, your spaceship, the enemy, and a few well-chosen powerups.
I like it.