On a dark night after work, restaurant owner John finds himself faced with a glowing portal into another dimension. Ignoring the old phrase of "curiosity killed the cat," John enters the portal and finds himself Alone in the Park in Mochi Games' game of the same name. With multiple gameplay modes, including the level-based story mode and endless survival mode, this is one shooter that's easy to pick up but hard to stop playing.
Alone in the Park sees you facing waves of multicolored mushrooms that look to have jumped straight out of the levels of Super Mario Bros. With retro-style graphics and music, Alone in the Park feels like a game from consoles past, and offers the same amount of challenge and replayability of those old games at the same time.
Different colored mushrooms behave differently, from green mushrooms that follow your character around the screen to yellow mushrooms that actually run from you. Small red mushrooms stand in one spot and shoot projectiles in the four cardinal directions, while large red mushrooms shoot diagonally, as examples. It's this variety and sheer amount of mushrooms on the screen at once that can create some hectic, truly entertaining fun as you try to shoot anything in sight.
At the end of each level, you're given a point to spend on upgrading your weapon power, health bar, reload speed or even luck. There are five upgrades available for each, so there's plenty of content here, if you can make your limited number of lives last until the end. You can also choose from multiple control options to suit your own particular play style.
These control configurations might see you moving John with the WASD keyboard keys, while shooting with the mouse or spacebar, or even moving or shooting with the arrow keys. You don't need to be a pro at PC games to find a layout that works for you - you can just jump right in and play! The longer you play, the more fluid the game becomes, but also the more challenging. Perform well enough and you'll unlock new characters with different stats for your next run through!
At first glance, Alone in the Park might not seem that different from many other games based on a "dual-stick shooter" layout, but unlike so many others, Alone in the Park starts more simply and isn't impossible to play right from the beginning. If you're new to this kind of game, we'd say this is a pretty good place to start.
Have you tried Alone in the Park already? What's your high score? How many levels or upgrades were you able to complete? Sound off in the comments!