Icarus is (despite the number in its title) the third installment in the Korean-made series of horizontally scrolling sci-fi shoot-em-ups. Once again, Captain Lee and his friends must stop an army of mechanized creatures from destroying Earth. Power-ups either change the weapon's properties or enhance the current weapon by extending the shot, adding three-way fire, etc. Picking a different weapon, however, reverts to its default weak form.
The player has a choice between two pilots, but their ships differ only in their default weapon. For the first time in the series, there is a two-player co-op mode. The two spaceships, controlled simultaneously, can be combined to form a giant mecha.
Dragon Force, Icarus, and Assault Dragon are three competent 2D side-scrolling shooters from Korea, based on the same mundane sci-fi plot about defending the Earth from alien invaders. All three games offer no-nonsense shooter gameplay, with elaborate background graphics, nice enemy ship designs that recall Macross and similar Japanese manga series, and a rocking soundtrack. The games are not very difficult, but the nice variety of levels and enemy ships make for a few hours of relaxing fun. Well worth a look as some of the best games from Korea, even if they are by no means classics of the genre.
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