Space Bastards is a Space Invaders clone with raytraced graphics, lots of weapon power-ups and a two player mode. You move your spaceship at the bottom of the screen, firing missiles while dodging shots from the endless waves of aliens.
The aliens move in a left to right pattern and speed up as their numbers decrease. Very slowly, the game gets more difficult as the aliens will return fire more and more. Every now and then, a UFO flies across the top of the screen, which drops a weapon power-up when you shoot it. Catch the power-up to temporary increase your fire power. A weapon bar will appear next to your score, and after a short time it will run out. After that you return to your default weapon, the slow firing missile which doesn't do that much damage.
There are lots of different power-ups weapons. The green slime blobs do the least damage but are still better than your default gun. The laser beam cuts through columns of aliens like butter. With the 3-way shot and 6-way shot you can spray the aliens like bugs. The grenades explode on impact taking out the surrounding aliens. Laser grenades also explode on impact but they then shoot two laser beams side ways, taking out an entire row of aliens. The flamethrower almost works like an eraser, simply move from left to right to wipe out the enemies. And finally, there's the nuke, a rare power-up that instantly kills all aliens on screen.
The longer you play, the more the aliens fire back at you, the more you really need power-ups to survive. If your weapon runs out right at the beginning of a wave of aliens, you're stuck with your standard missile weapon which can only take out one alien at a time. So you will have to find a certain rhythm to defeating the waves of aliens, making sure you always have a power-up when a new wave arrives.
You can play solo or with two players, which makes the game even more frantic. If you don't have someone to play with, you can even play co-op with the computer controlling the second spaceship.
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