Dan! Da! Dan! (yes, I'd like to know what this hard-to-spell title means, too) is a fun mix between puzzle and vertical shooter from OMEGA, the author of freeware classic Every Extend. A cool game that is reminiscent of Star Soldier series from Hudson Soft, DDD is easy to learn but difficult to master. You basically use just the arrow keys and three alphabets: press X to shoot, hold the X key down to 'charge' your shot for greater damage and slowing down bullets, and press Z to activate the 'hyper' mode, which turns all enemy bullets into blue triangles that you can collect for points. Naturally, you have a limited amount of hyper mode ammo (shown as a gauge on screen), so use it only when necessary. You can collect yellow triangles to refill the hyper gauge, and it also refills by itself slowly over time.
What makes DDD different from most shooters is that the enemies you face are not other ships, but blocks of different colors that look like they belong in some BlockOut clone rather than this game. When you destroy a block, adjacent blocks of the same color also disappear. Hence, similar to Every Extend, the most fun in DDD comes from figuring out how to increase your score: the better you are at firing combo shots and getting various bonuses (time, stock, and distance to name a few), the more fun you will have with this game. There are three levels plus a "mystery" level that can only be unlocked late in the game. Although it is neither as creative nor as addictive as Every Extend, DDD is still a fun and great-looking shooter that every SHMUP fan should enjoy. Recommended.
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