Jeff Minter’s Space Giraffe threw us off our stride when we first encountered the surreal shooter. However, after a few minutes of play, we realised that Jeff Minter is bonkers and Space Giraffe only makes sense to the clinically insane. This was when we started to enjoy it.
Immortal Defense begins in the same vein, but while the gameplay and visuals are as LSD-inspired as Space Giraffe, the plot is somewhat coherent. You’re a man who has given up his physical form to become a being of pure energy and protect his home planet. Traversing lines of energy known as Pathspace, you must protect your homeworld from the invaders who travel the length of each line on each level. It’s a little bit high-concept, but it made enough sense to us to make us fear for our sanity.
The actual game consists of pointing your mouse and shooting enemies who move in a fixed direction from one end of the line to the other. Enemies that reach the other side take a small amount from your life force, but you can get a helping hand from the 11 types of tower that can be ‘purchased’ using an energy currency obtained by destroying enemies, then placed at a strategic point of your choosing. It’s a fun waste of time but the novelty wears very quickly, plus your cursor is frequently obscured by the onscreen fireworks when the action heats up. With 96 levels across six campaigns, Immortal Defense is a huge game. So if the tower-defence concept appeals to you, it could be a bargain.