Online Game: Reactance

Unleash hell with tons of epic upgrades in this “colorblind friendly” top-down shooter with plenty of challenge.

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Reactance is a fast-paced, action-packed, one of a kind shoot em’ up with an unbelievable amount of upgrades for your spaceship. This game will bring you through a total of 15 levels, all of which become increasingly difficult and will force you to upgrade your ship to the max! Reactance will challenge you to collect 35 different and unique medals/achievements in this drastically varying gameplay based upon what abilities you choose to specialize in!


This was a rather grindy kind of game. I spent the first thirty to forty minutes just grinding my way up to a powerful enough state to take down the ghastly monsters on level five, not to mention that before that even level three was quiet the challenge to my puny spacecraft. What you really have to keep in mind while playing this game, is that each level is going to present its own challenge you you must be ready for that. Customization of your own spacecraft could be the difference between defeat and victory. The missiles got me pretty for in the game, up to level eight or so. My biggest suggestion to a newcomer would be to get the missiles, upgrade their turning, speed and number of missiles as fast as you can. Then upgrade the rest of the stats later on. Those missiles still work pretty effectively against the enemy, but what was really killing me after level eight and on was my low amount of health. Remember that a combination of damage and defense is what’s going to keep you alive – that’s my golden rule for games like this. The difficulty really likes upon how you play the game, find your own style of playing, whether it’s pure defense, or pure offense or somewhere in between, stick with your strategy and revise it, or improve on it if need be.

I really liked the gameplay. The upgrade system was magnificent. It was upgrade galore in there and if you love upgrades like me, than you’ll love this game as there are over 130 upgrades for your ship. As you upgraded your ship you really saw immediate improvements, well that is if you’re using the upgrade correctly. What I liked was that none of the upgrades did nothing, they all did something and changed the gameplay entirely. Some games, you buy the upgrade and your dissapointed when you come back to play the game to find that the change is so minor. Unlike those games, Reactance allowed you to drastically and quickly change and strengthen your character. The gameplay itself was magnificent and it truly was quiet fast-paced and multiple enemies were constantly shooting at you! Although, at the same time, this fast-paced, bullet-frenzy type of gameplay had it’s own downfall that kind of lowered the value of the game. At times I’d loose myself in all these bullets and I’d find my ship on the other side of the screen. I love the grpahics, but sometimes when all of this white color is piled up top of one another you can loose your ship in all of the chaos. A little bit of color difference would have improved the game in my opinion, even if there was more color in the game, it could still be “color-blind friendly” (as the developer stated in the game description) if the artist used the correct colors. Therefore, if using the correctly colors it could be, both, equally appealing to color-blind users and non color-blind users.


The graphics were impressive and the only issue I had with them was the short detail in the above paragraph, but besides that small issue I thought that the art was truly a wonder and I loved the simple color choose (though that lead to a little problem in the end) and the simple, yet interesting and appealing sprites used. What I loved to see most in this game were all the missiles firing and the enemies blowing up, as well as the bullet storm/frenzy that was taking place. I thought that the character design should have changed a bit depending upon what weapon you choose to use, but that’s quiet a minor detail, yet it’d be desired and would add a bit to the game. The bullet designs were nice, and they detailed pretty well and the idea of what they were, was interpreted rather easily despite the one color restriction. The star field was pretty mediocre. I thought that it could be a little more realistic, but in a way, anything more realistic than a couple of lines would probably ruin the flow of it all. Besides, the star field kind of fits in with the rest of the game.

I loved the music and if you have a sharp memory you’ll recall that this music was also used in No Time to Explain (EDIT: Actually, the music is very similar, but it’s by the same artist), a hit game that appeared on several major portals including Kongregate, which it received achievements, and Newgrounds. I liked the mood of the music, which was really fast-paced and matched the gameplay perfectly as they both portrayed and resembled a more fast-paced kind of style. Although, what I liked most about the music was the energy it gave off this action-packed, shoot em’ up, kind of vibe and was perfect for such a game that I can describe with those same words. There were no sound effects and in a way, this game really focused and relied upon it’s music. Do I think that soun effects would improve the game? Yes, and I’d like to see such sound effects implemented.

The difficulty ramp seemed to be one of the few downfalls of this game. For me, along with other users the difficulty ramped seemed to steep and could become overwhelming. I could see if the users became stuck later on in the game such as level 10 and above, possibly struggles coming out of level eight and above, but when a vast majority, if not all users have to grind for thirty to forty minutes just to get passed level five and level three then there’s a problem. To me, that’s what I’d call a rather steep difficulty ramp and it seems that too a new users this could become deterring, although I’m still here. The difficulty kind of goes at a reasonable pace once you pass level five, because after grinding for half an hour you should have some incredible pieces of weaponry, if not, a lot of cash to spend on upgrades. Several levels past level five actually seemed easier and I think that’s why the difficulty takes a short dive for a while as you coast through level 6-8. If you’re working on level eight, just grind of level seven that should provided you with a steady 15-20K after every completion.

ApprenticeChief (the developer) went all out on replay value. There were a total of thirty-five in-game achievements. Many of which took a bit of time to achieve! I actually didn’t know that I’d gained/unlocked any new achievements until I checked the achievements tab later on in the game. It would, in my opinion have been nice to have small pop-up box appear in a corner of the screen, during gameplay alerting you that you’ve earn an achievement. It doesn’t have to be anything flashy or even big, just something that, if you’re working towards and an achievements would notice at the bottom of your screen if you managed to get that achievement. Adding to the already large amount of replay value, if you’re playing on Kongregate, the Kongregate High-Scores API is established and tracks many statistics. If you’re good enough, and playing on Kong you might just find yourself up on the score board!

All in all, Reactance is a magnificent shoot em’ up brought to you by ApprenticeChief. This fast-paced shooter will take you through 15 exciting levels and along the way you can upgrade your spaceship! Any shoot em’ up fan will definitely love this game! In review, the difficulty was pretty good. Devise a strategy, stick with it and improve upon it and you should have no problem. This game will definitely keep you on your toes with it’s fast-paced action and the spewing up bullets from the opposing spacecrafts. The only thing that’s missing is a storyline! The gameplay was fantastic, but a little grindy at times, so if you want to play this game to the end, make sure you have a free afternoon! Artwork was phenomenal and I loved the simplicity of it all. Although, sometimes the restriction of color made it hard to see or find your spaceship. The music was awesome, and it’s fast mood and energy made it go hand in hand with the gameplay! Finally, the replay value was all there! With over thirty achievements and the Kongregate API established this game gives it’s fans a lot to do if they wish to go beyond the game itself. Overall, Reactance was a fantastic and definitely deserves a spot in one of the first great shooters this year!

Play Reactance on Kongregate!