NES classics Metroid and Gradius were iconic, just like Kung-Fu, Super Mario Bros. and Wonder Boy for the Master System. These were the games that sparked our passion for video games. We also adored Fantasy Zone for Sega's first console, and it's that game that one-man studio Thalamus Digital's new mobile game, Cecconoid, reminds us of.
The story has us just as captivated as its graphics, which is a mix between Zaxxon and Metroid, and it's oozing '80s vibes. The spacecraft Equinox is under attack. The evil Stormlord and his minions are firing all of the guns in their arsenal at the peaceful ship, and the last hope for humanity is the attack capsule Samurai-1, which first has to localise Captain Solomon's key to unlock the door to Stormlord's core and annihilate everything within. Sounds fun, right? We agree. The story in Cecconoid is cheesy and it's fantastic.
Regarding mechanics, the game reminded us plenty of Fantasy Zone, even if each screen warns of the dangers that have to be neutralised before you can proceed. Considering it's a side-scrolling shooter, Cecconoid isn't exactly a fast-paced, combat-heavy game - quite the opposite. Rather, you'll be focusing on tactics such as positioning your little pixelated spaceship to stay out of harm's way, dodging missiles, and using precision to neutralise enemy ships and robots as you move closer towards the key. Towards the core.
The importance of your unit placement is paramount and you shoot by pulling your finger in the direction you want to shoot. Sometimes, the shooting itself feels weak, but the further into the game we got, the more powerful the Samurai-1 becomes, along with our skill when positioning with it.
The game does, however, lack a little when it comes to the overall pacing. We occasionally got bored even though the graphics and the soundtrack were doing their best to keep us interested. In the end, though, the game is an aesthetic wonder with the perfect amount of nostalgia for the retro enthusiast to enjoy. The game mechanics, however, are somewhat lacking, even if we appreciated the trip down memory lane.