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Space Invaders (#110 of 1)

Review: Gauntlet

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Review: Gauntlet
Review: Gauntlet

Publishers and developers know that breadth of content can distract players from a game’s failure to address human experience or its inability, in terms of sheer pleasure, to stand alongside classics such as Space Invaders. All the downloadable content, customizable characters, and other tacked-on features in the world shouldn’t be confused with context. Some will criticize Gauntlet for being lean, for lacking the “bang for your buck” padding that companies have conditioned us to expect. Yes, it may be a minor achievement, but its philosophy of concept over content shouldn’t be taken for granted. Old-schoolers may also wonder if this new incarnation of the game reflects their memories. Well, Arrowhead Game Studios has the wit to acknowledge the shift toward obvious in-game hints with the loading screen message “Did you know tips are shown during the loading screen?” (Another message recalls a different kind of advice that appeared in some older games: “Tip: Don’t drink and drive.”) Lost in isomorphic game design, sarcasm, or nostalgia, most action games don’t demonstrate a keen understanding of history like Gauntlet.