Get ready for a jolly good adventure back in time to the 1880s, and a trip to Mars as the young Queen Victoria. Vic has had enough of her sheltered palace life and decided its time for an adventure of her own, so she’s jumped aboard a one-way trip to Mars. Once there, it quickly becomes apparent that something sinister is afoot on the red planet, and she’s determined to find out what’s going on. Prepare for zombies, killer worms, jammy scones and rocks galore, in Rock Boshers DX.
It’s the second time in as many weeks that Tikipod has released a revamped title from their back catalogue, but is Queenie’s adventure a rip-roaring success or a trip best left back in the past?
Right off the bat you’ll probably notice Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut’s retro stylings, with its ZX Spectrum palette of a whopping 15 colours! The visuals serve as an indication of what is to come. Rock Boshers harks back to a time when even state of the art games looked slightly shit – but in a charmingly shit way, of course! A time when gameplay was king, and was, more often than not, hard as balls. It’s a game that requires patience, good timing and a keen eye for details.
Each of Rock Boshers’ 20-odd levels is a part shooter and part puzzle, meaning you’ll need to juggle both elements at the same time. Levels are short, at a few minutes apiece, but they can be infuriatingly tricky if you don’t pay attention. To proceed through each stage you’ll need to unlock a series of coloured gates by acquiring the corresponding keys,. The challenge comes from figuring out which path to take through the level, and staying alive while you do so. Vicky will make good use of her pistol, and unleash 8-way directional bullet fury upon a variety of different Martians that stand in her way. Fortunately, she’ll have the latest weapon gadgetry at her disposal, as well as copious amounts of tea and jammy scones! Each level features 3 hidden pickups and leaderboard time-challenge, giving trophy hunters a real challenge – if they can hack it, that is.
Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut is technically a very simple game, but its got a likeable charm at its core. The quintessentially British humour exhibited in each level, from its tea and scone pickups, to the chucklesome dialogue from some of the characters you meet, enriches the experience tremendously.
It’s down to personal preference whether or not you like the throwback graphics, but one thing we can all agree on (I hope) is that the soundtrack kicks ass. Electric Cafe have returned with a finger-tapping, head nodding chiptune treat that is sure to weedle its way inside your head. I dare you not to like the main theme.
The game has no noticeable issues but if I had to nitpick, I’d question the sensitivity of the right analogue stick when firing. More than once I found myself backed in against a corner only to be firing my gun in a direction other than the one I was trying to aim in.
If you enjoy tricky games, and can get past its “retro” aesthetic, you are sure to find a lot to like in Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut. It’s a well-realised remaster of a game that was already pretty good to begin with, and now it’s probably on a platform that you own! You owe it to your Queen and country to give it a try, there’ll be tea and jammy scones in it for you if you do. Pip pip!
Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut is available on PSN and Steam.