This is a game, a game by the name of Paladin.
Paladin is made by Pumpkin Games, a one man band from… I don’t know, actually. One look at his website, which is hidden underneath thousands of Halloween flash game websites, and you’ll see a hoard of titles that all look the same, I.E, neon-tinted twin-sticks and side-scrollers. Paladin is another twin-stick, but with a possible difference: This one is 30 minutes long.
The reason why I’m jumping into the fray without attempting a comedy routine is that Paladin is the first game I’ve come across that I struggle to write about in any normal fashion. It’s the shortest game I’ve ever played, and probably will be until they create The Todd Howard Experience, where you have to port Skyrim to the last 2 consoles that don’t have it in their libraries.
In Paladin, you are tasked to protect 4 cities from incoming aliens, and then you choose your ship. You get to choose from 5, with none of them showing any real deviations from one another, other than the faster ships making the game completely unplayable. Throughout the 40 waves the game provides, you’ll be running around trying to stop these aliens from decimating the cities, all of which have an equal population of 15,000.
Other than that, there’s not much to it. There’s an upgrade mechanic, which means you’re going to have to run into ships you’ve destroyed in order to get their cash drops. This is where the faster ships have their only use. Since the faster ships will be crashing into enemies anyway, causing you to burn and lose the game, it only makes sense to use them for this, and makes more sense when you realize the cash drops disappear faster than you can say “Independence Day”.
After your 4th boss fight with a seizure-inducing snake, it’s game over. There’s no endgame content, you just do the same 40 levels with shittier ships, and guess that you’re at the top of the worldwide leaderboards. I was personally stunned when I saw that the entire game lasted 30 minutes; I’ve played walking simulators that lasted longer AND offered more.
Wait, don’t go! Hang on, maybe there’s… something here I can try to… AH! The music is duller than dishwater on the Amish. You’ve got a choice of 2 tracks, both of which are generic Nightcore instrumentals which, while they compliment the visuals, tend to grate on the ears, and I’d rather listen to The Day The Earth Stood Still score.
Admittedly, I wasn’t going to end the review here, and instead continue with a rant on how the ending of Tales From The Borderlands sucks the skidmarks off of a toilet. However, maybe a 400-odd word review of a game that lasts as long as an episode of your favourite anime or soap opera hits the point home further. Paladin doesn’t suck, but I’m not going to recommend it. Sorry, Pumpkin.
Blink-n-you'll-miss-it entertainment that burns faster than you can appreciate it.