Tachyon Project is a port of a game that launched on other platforms in the summer of 2015 – an arcade-style twin-stick shooter that proudly wears its influences on its sleeves. Or perhaps that's influence in the singular sense: the game looks, sounds, and even feels incredibly like Bizarre Creations' Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions – but it's not quite as good.
The game's story is presented via hand-drawn static images and text boxes that intersperse levels, and is largely forgettable. Ada is a self aware software program that is created by two hackers who she regards as her parents. The hackers are detected while attempting to infiltrate a computer mainframe, and are forced to leave Ada loose in the system and flee. You then take control of Ada as she attempts to hack into various other systems to find out what's happened to her parents, with enemies presented as anti-hacking software.
It's a relatively brief title which can be breezed through in an afternoon, with proceedings set across ten levels each consisting of six waves of enemies. Objectives change in each wave, such as killing a specified number of enemies or staying alive for a set amount of time. The clock is constantly ticking down and can only be topped up by killing your foes to ensure that you reach the end of the current wave, and this is normally achieved fairly easily.
The game attempts to keep things interesting by employing two methods: enemy variety and weapon type. There are around thirty types of adversary, all of which behave in a slightly different manner and with alternating levels of aggression. None of them presented us with any problems that couldn't be tackled in a couple of attempts, however, with the game preferring to overwhelm with sheer numbers during everything but boss fights.
Alternate weapon types become available as you progress through the story, but the game mostly conforms to traditional armaments such as the shotgun, which boasts a shorter range but wider spread burst, and missiles, which zoom across the screen. Meanwhile, controls are simple and work well, with the left stick moving Ada and the right stick directing fire, while shields and bombs are mapped to R1 and L1. Fortunately, it's all very intuitive, and we managed to pick it up even before the first wave of enemies was over.
Elsewhere, the graphics are kept simple with clean, clear, bright images representing the player and your adversaries – it's basic, but it works well in this instance. On the audio side of things, the game's soundtracked by pumping electronic rhythms that suit it well, but we just wish that there were a few more tracks, as by the later stages, music repeats and starts to grate.
Tachyon Project is fine, but it doesn't have enough meat on its bones and it treads far too much familiar ground. As such, it's relatively difficult to recommend even at its low price point – especially when you consider that the game it mimics is superior. Although Tachyon Project may hold appeal to those that have played the likes of the Geometry Wars to death and are looking for a little bit more, everyone else will be better off seeking their shooty thrills elsewhere.