Project AETHER: First Contact
Developer: Sleepy Spider Studios
All 9 levels are paced well, being superbly balanced so that they’re doable but difficult, and the combination of Project AETHER‘s ubiquitous leaderboard and numerous short challenge levels allow it to last longer than you’d expect given its relatively brief campaign length. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however; there are a fair number of bugs to contend with, and some of the stages have backgrounds that are a dull orange or red that obscures enemy projectiles in an annoying way.
While the genre doesn’t usually appeal to more than a niche audience, Sleepy Spider Studios sure did one heck of an amazing job making it both readily accessible to newer players, as well as adding features that will excite veterans of the genre like myself to keep playing. With many optional trials and a boss rush and survival mode, there’s definitely a lot that Project AETHER can provide, despite how short the main campaign may feel. Whether you’re a bullet hell veteran or just looking for a top-down shooter style gameplay, Project AETHER aims to please.