Every Extend Extra

If you can’t tell from the shots and the name, it’s another one from Lumines and Meteos developers Q Entertainment that resembles the inside of an acid junkie’s head. This isn’t a block sorting puzzler though. In fact it has more in common with Rez, the seminal psychedelic shooter from Q Entertainment’s own Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

Every Extend ExtraExcept it’s best described as a shooter in reverse, the idea being to blow yourself up – ideally among a bunch of ‘enemies’ – to set off a chain reaction. The bigger the chain, the more points you get, and thus the more extra lives you earn. The more lives you have, the more times you can commit virtual suicide and the longer you can keep on playing. It’s easy to get to grips with, but to amass a good number of lives to use on an end of level boss takes careful planning and patience.

It’s all about the balance, really. The ‘enemies’ are colour-coded in respect of the items that they leave behind: some drop bombs that set off another detonation, others drop ‘Quickens’ that speed up the tempo of the music, which then causes more enemies to spew onto the screen.

If you fail to detonate before hitting the ‘surface’ of whatever trippy backdrop you’re playing on then you fizzle out and get no points. Think along the lines of a dart being thrown at an invisible dart board, only it’s hard to tell when the ‘dart’ is about to hit the ‘board’.

For an hour or two it proves an addictive ditty. The drawback is that there’s not much to it – just steer into a patch of enemies, hit a button, repeat and rinse. Bosses add some variety – they can only be destroyed by sufficiently long chains – but if you reach a boss with only, say, three lives, then you might as well bring up the menu and select ‘restart’.

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