Harmotion is a 2D top down shoot em up that is played duel-style online against human opponents.

It offers a blend of colorful visuals, an excellent soundtrack, and a simple, original game design.

Let me say from the outset that this is a great game that is both exceedingly simple and well designed. However, brilliant as it may be it suffers somewhat in maintaining long term traction.

It is still in beta, however, and still being developed, so I will keep my fingers crossed. Here are some notes on this one:

  • Offers Co-Op, Singleplayer, and Player vs. Player Game Modes: there is something really satisfying about playing against another human player or players. For one thing, unlike the typical shoot em up action whereby your ship blasts away dozens if not hundreds of hapless opponents, fighting against one or two other ships that exhibit the same kind of agility and intelligence as your own ship makes intuitive sense and is a refreshing change of pace.
  • Types of spaceship: there are a handful of different spaceships on offer (5 in total), each with its distinct weaponry and style of movement (and even visual and sound effects). You will soon find that you like to play certain ships more than others.
  • Gameplay: aside from the dueling spaceships, the game arena is littered with what looks like white globs, upgrades, and particles. The latter two can be collected by your ship using a sort of magnetic field by keeping the fire button pressed (during which time you are unable to actually fire). Upgrades give you special powers that you can use once such as launching a pack of rockets, temporary invincibility, or firing mine-like objects, while collecting particles increases your energy.Another Harmotion Screenshot
  • Live chat: with human opponents is supported but, in my opinion not really very practical given the keyboard controls and fast pace of the game.
  • Finding human opponents: does not seem to be a sure thing at all times, although since I first found this game about 2 weeks ago there seems to have been a marked increase in players.
  • Advance through ranks: compare your statistics, earn trophies, etc.

The verdict: a simple yet refreshingly original game with a lot of potential. I will certainly keep an eye on this one; in the meanwhile I definitely recommend that you download it and start blasting away.

Version tested: 0.34 beta

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista.

The Harmotion page seems to have disappeared since this review, but the game can still be downloaded here (~42.5 megs).