Montreal-based game creators Dave Richard and Christine Marsh have developed and released a retro arcade-style game titled Hyper Vanguard Force IV. Drawing heavy inspiration from 2D shoot ’em up classics like Galaga and 1942, the officially-sanctioned Star Citizen minigame also uses original assets based on the main game’s concept art.
Hyper Vanguard Force IV follows the story of Meredith, a starship pilot who’s prized Takuetsu Vanguard ship was stolen by an evil pirate captain. Armed with a ship using basic weapons and armaments, Meredith chases after him, fighting through hordes of enemies, and picking up gears that players can use to purchase several upgrades for their ship, improving armor, shields, or any of the three weapons. Enemies randomly drop power ups that increase the ship’s rate of fire, and each level is filled with a variety of obstacles and a boss battle at the end. The gameplay offers a slight twist over 80s shmups with its shield generator, lowering whenever the ship opens fire. This causes players to form a good balance between defensive and offensive moves, though it’s recommended that players try to dodge all incoming fire. As David Swofford, on behalf of Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games, puts it, “It’s like a Star Citizen game you would have played in the 80’s.”
Hyper Vanguard Force IV is available for free on the Robert Space Industries (RSI) website to play on any browser, making it available for anyone with a computer that handle it. (It even fits into a digital arcade cabinet to match the overall aesthetic.) For more information, players can follow Dave Richard and Christine Marsh on Twitter.