Freebie Friday: USS Tlancy (Windows)

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Freebie Friday is a semi-regular news feature where we talk about a freeware, just free or open source game. It can be anything from a throwaway web game to a free-to-play RPG or mobile puzzle game. This time: bullet hell retro shooter USS Tlancy.

Kinda like a battleship dating sim without dating

With overtones of Luftrausers, a smattering of lo-fi satire and a crazy glitch/noise retro soundtrack courtesy of circuit bending artist Com Tlancy (perhaps the sequel should be called Sainbow Rix?), USS Tlancy is a simple, fast paced scrolling shooter where you play a huge battleship facing ever increasing waves of fighter planes, destroyers and submarines. You have access to an arsenal of anti-air guns for the fighters, main cannons for the destroyers and torpedoes for the subs.

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When I say this game is simple, I really mean it! Everything is controlled with the mouse: The ship is stationary on screen while you aim and shoot at anything and everything until you’re overwhelmed. You have no idea how well you’ve done until you get to the end game screen and it gives you a score.

There’s definitely an influence from another bullet hell shooter called Luftrausers here. Not that that’s a bad thing. Though the sentiment seems to be that pixel art is a bit overplayed these days, I personally still love seeing what game artists do with the art style. Since these types of games have stripped down gameplay mechanics, it makes sense for the art to reflect that. Even the most graphically complex scrolling shoot ’em up games feature bold designs and bright colours to help the player keep track of what on earth is happening on screen. From the power ups to the level locales, everything is designed to be clear and simple.

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Check out the couple of minutes of gameplay that Rock, Paper, Shotgun captured to see just how manic USS Tlancy really is!

You can grab USS Tlancy for free, either on the official site, or donate some beer money on itch.io. The game is available for Windows only.

Got any other awesome free games you’ve tried? Let us know in the comments!

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About Dan Morse

From the Atari 2600 right through to bleeding fast PCs, Dan's played on them all. One thing that's never changed is an unwavering passion for video games. Twitter: @happydan | Steam: happydan | GOG: happydan