Update: After our story went live, Funbox informed us that the PlayStation store listing had incorrectly listed the game as being single-player. The PlayStation version does have 4-player local co-op, and its store page has now been updated! The Steam version really is limited to single-player due to the PC version only having mouse controls, the publisher explained.
A while back, we reviewed Martian Panic, a Switch port of a classic Wii rail shooter that also has a pretty cool Alien Blaster light gun accessory. The game had a campy cool vibe but suffered from motion control calibration issues that made 4-player co-op difficult to enjoy. Now, imagine our surprise when PlayStation and Steam versions showed up recently but without multiplayer support. Why lose the feature entirely?
The premise of Martian Panic is simple: green-headed aliens from Mars are invading the Earth, and only a ragtag group of locals can stop them. During each level, the camera pans around the environment, stopping whenever enemies appear. Blast the baddies, and movement resumes, just like in classic light gun games like Virtua Cop and House of the Dead. The game is very low budget and unpolished, but it has its charms.
- 8 levels packed with colorful cutscenes and intense arcade action.
- 10 unique enemy types.
- 6 different weapons.
- 5 different powerup types to spice up the action.
- Cutscenes and Cinematic Movie
- Multiple difficulty levels, achievements, and a funny and engaging storyline
- Online leaderboards
In our co-op review of the Switch game, we criticized how lives are shared between all players (which means the obnoxious Game Over screen interrupts the whole group at regular intervals) and the truly terrible motion control calibration. Did Funbox Media see our complaints and decide that fixing them in future ports would be too much trouble? The PlayStation and Steam versions wouldn't exclusively use motion controls in the first place, so multiplayer calibration wouldn't be an issue. In all likelihood, Funbox probably cut the co-op just to save development money. It's a strange decision that reduces the appeal of those versions, but perhaps the miserliness of the ports will lead to profitability in the long run.