The latest indie bullet hell to demand my attention, Road Defense: Outsiders has its own unique take on the genre. With a Max-Max vibe and a flash game aesthetic let’s see if Road Defense: Outsiders is worthy of your time and money!
Road Defense: Outsiders
Developer: Minicactus Games
Publisher: Minicactus Games
Platform: Windows (Steam)
Release Date: 28th May 2023
Story of Road Defense: Outsiders
Road Defense: Outsiders follows players trying to protect a convoy of vehicles from an undead horde. With towers placed conveniently around the levels, players can erect weapons helping them defend against the unrelenting hordes.
Analysis of Road Defense: Outsiders
Level design, weapons, and characters are all limited in Road Defense: Outsiders. The graphics and handling of the game make it feel like a flash game pulled forward in time. Unfortunately, it’s not as enjoyable as the iconic flash games of the past. Arguably the best thing about RDO is the game’s core gameplay premise. Having a unique turn on the bullet hell genre popularized by games like Brotato, Vampire Survivors, and Enter the Gungeon. Which as mentioned before tasks the player in not only trying to survive but to protect a vulnerable target, the convoy of vehicles.
The towers are a great inclusion adding some tower defense elements to the game. This makes it more unique but the sheer lack of impact most of the weapons available will have on the undead hordes is laughable. You might as well be slinging nerf bullets from them. The laser and fusion bomb towers do help but come with a very steep price tag. Additional towers that have noticeable impacts on the enemies would greatly improve the quality of the game. It has a very unique take on the genre it just needs to expand on the interesting and fun mechanics whilst leaving the rest behind.
Upgrades exist and can upgrade the player, the convoy vehicles, and other various things such as granting additional starting money. These do help immensely when trying to get further in the levels, with the additional money one being crucial!
Performance on Steam Deck
The game runs perfectly fine on the Steam Deck despite having a questionable performance rating. The battery lasts fairly long, which is typically standard with less demanding indie games. However, the controls and handling are atrocious and feel like an old flash game. Handling as well as monkey driving a F1 car, with a wheel missing, whilst blindfolded.
Summary of Road Defense: Outsiders
In summary Road Defense: Outsiders has a long way to go, at the moment it’s current state seems like a rushed product released solely to cash in on a popular trend. Hopefully, the developers will see its uniqueness and nurture it, allowing the good features to flourish. Focusing more on the tower defense mechanics would greatly benefit the game as it would divert from the other indies overpopulating the genre. I did really enjoy the idea of protecting vehicles rather than just solely trying to survive, this added an additional layer of accomplishment to the game. Adding a sense of direction in an otherwise usually aimless runs. For now though I would stay clear from RDO and pick up one of the many, many better bullet hell roguelikes.
Overall Rating: 4
Platform Played On: Steam Deck