Nothing Between The Ears

HIGH The lighting.

LOW The lack of variety.

WTF The gap between Medium and Hard.


How long is too long?

The answer will be completely different based on the individual and the subject. 120 hours is longer than I’d ever want to spend on an RPG, but I’ve happily dumped the same amount into a roguelike that takes 30 minutes per run, and I have no problem with the knowledge that I have played PUBG for 400+ hours over the last three years.

Developers Triangle Studios should have an idea of what the right answer is to the question of “how long?” having previously ported The Bug Butcher on the Xbox One. Unfortunately, the work and experience there has not translated to It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains.

ICFSaAOB is a top-down, twin-stick shooter. The premise is that aliens have arrived to eat brains and it is the task of the player (and up to 3 friends) to stop them before they get their feed on. Don’t come here looking for narrative, though — there is little explanation for why the player is in alley, a forest, or any other level. It all just sort of happens.

Once play begins there’s lots of shooting, and sometimes the player must press a button or stay in one place for a while and do some more shooting.

Sometimes the player dies and needs to restart the shooting from a checkpoint. There are some upgrades that get reset when the player starts a new level — machineguns, rocket launchers etc. – that make the shooting more streamlined, but that’s the lot.

The levels are long, and there’s no overarching progress to give any incentive to continue. I would have taken anything from permanent upgrades to some unlockable cosmetics, but there’s merely a high score counter that isn’t even online and offers no way to compare how well I did against others.

So, the levels in ICFSaAOB are long, but the lack of meta play or any incentive to replay means its lifespan is short — paradoxically, it’s too long in the short term, and too short in the long term. It is also repetitive to the point of tedium and the answer in almost all situations is ‘use the shotgun’.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed by Triangle Studios and published by All In! Games. It is currently available on Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and XBO. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the XBO-X. Approximately 5 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. 1 hour of play was spent in multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E10+ and contains Fantasy Violence and Mild Blood. The game is very mild. The aliens pop with little gore, although the very young might find the dark setting creepy.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: The game is fully playable without sound. Text cannot be resized nor the color changed, but there is no plot in the game and very little text. I’d say it’s fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable.

AJ Small

AJ Small

AJ Small is a games industry veteran starting in QA back in 2004. He started his gaming on the BBC Microcomputer and switched to being a devout SEGA fan from then on. He currently walks the earth in search of the tastiest/seediest drinking holes as part of his attempt to tell every single person on the planet that Speedball 2 and The Chaos Engine are the greatest games ever made.

He can be found on twitter, where he welcomes screenshots of Dreamcast games and talk about Mindjack, just don’t mention that one time he was in Canada.
AJ Small

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