Sector Strike a manic - but greedy - freemium shoot 'em up

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A fast blasting spaceship, incoming bogeys and missiles, energy pods to collect, a pumping digital soundtrack and excellent sound effects, Sector Strike has an awful lot going for it - and, on the whole, doesn't disappoint. My only concern would be that, in order to progress very far beyond the initial few minutes of blasting, some freemium purchases will be necessary - and that these are relatively complex and potentially expensive.

From the Store description:

A futuristic shoot 'em up designed to challenge your reflexes and wits. Sector Strike combines the mechanics of old school shooters and the aesthetics of modern 3D games.

Battle through relentless waves of AI drones in a campaign that will take you through 4 unique environments. Earn credits and upgrade your ship with new weapons, equipment, and abilities.

* ADDICTIVE power-up system that will keep you coming back for more
* UPGRADE your ship with over 20 weapons and abilities such as hellfire missiles and call for reinforcements.
* ADVANCED GRAPHICS that will take advantage of your new mobile device
* CLASSIC space shooter game mechanics familiar to retro gamers and fans of the SHUMP genre
* PILOT 4 different ship classes
* ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK from Boneyard Audio

Sounds right up my street, let's blast off and see how far I get:

Screenshot, Sector Strike

Production values are high - even if we've seen these ships, patterns and styles in other shooters before...

Screenshot, Sector Strike

In addition to ad-hoc collection of energy pods, power-up capsules and ammunition also pop-up for collection on-screen - it's all very smooth and quite satisfying.

Screenshot, Sector Strike

Bit by bit, the idea is that you gradually upgrade your ship and its weapons, necessitating using up hard-won energy and currency...

Screenshot, Sector Strike

On-screen action is where it's at though - and you'll be frantically watching about five things at once in no time at all, balancing the need to get into position to fire, with collecting on-screen items and dodgy incoming missiles and smart bombs...

Screenshot, Sector Strike

Another busy screen, though it all makes a lot more sense in the game itself, as you 'feel' your way through the mass of incoming action...

Screenshot, Sector Strike

Within a few minutes, it'll become apparent that you have enormously fast reactions and skill, in which case you can make progress - or (more likely) you'll keep dying and will be experimenting with the in-app-purchases (IAPs) in order to upgrade your ship's weapons and defenses.

Is it just me that is getting tired of every game requiring build ups of multiple in-game currencies - have we all turned into part time bankers? Sector Strike, for me, is a great shoot 'em up somewhat spoiled by a stretch too far into freemium territory. A single currency and less onerous top-up charges would have been far more attractive - I can't help but feel that many players will be compelled to end up with the two $5 purchases, so about £7 in all in our UK currency. Which is definitely on the high side (these days) for even a slick game - and these are just top-ups, not outright upgrades, so you may be revisiting them in a few weeks when you need more energy or credits.

Definitely on the greedy side then - you can download Sector Strike here in the Windows Phone Store. Comments welcome - what's your take on how this title is pitched?

Source / Credit: Download from the Windows Phone Store