For a lazy Sunday afternoon, my five-year-old and I sat down to check out Tyrian 2000, a classic PC shmup from 1999. The PC never had all of the amazing shmups that consoles and arcades had, but reportedly, Tyrian 2000 was one of the best out of the few that we got.
Besides, I was tired and needed something light and fluffy to play that wouldn’t require a lot of brain power. More reflexes than intellect. This game was felt like a good fit for the day.
And it turns out that, yup, it’s pretty fun. My son got to fire the guns (i.e. hold down the spacebar) and make color commentary while I handled all of the fancy navigation around obstacles and projectiles. It’s certainly not as frantic as some console shmups I’ve played — at least not initially — but it hits that sweet spot of responsive and satisfying without being frustrating.
You get a basic ship to start, but coins can be gathered in each level to invest in ship upgrades. I loved this, because it let me tailor the type of ship that I wanted. Once we got powerful multi-directional cannons, we had a blast cruising around and causing mass destruction.
I also liked the constantly recharging shield, which allowed for some slip-ups while not removing the challenge altogether. The colorful EVGA graphics and satisfying thumps and explosions rounded out the experience. While I would’ve probably played the heck out of this if I had had it in college, it’s still a fun diversion that I’ll be glad to leave on the computer.