The fun thing about a good arcade game is you don’t need to be married to it. It’s perfectly ok to hop in, play a bit, and leave satisfied. Sure, there’s the occasional Robotron or Tempest that that can last the ages, but I don’t regret more than a quarter or two popped into Wizard of Wor, Phoenix, Boom’r Rang’r, etc. Space Dance is a unique arcade shooter released today on Early Access, a single level long for the moment but with more coming soon, and it’s a quick blast of high score action through the EDM beats of its music.
The scoring mechanic is based on shooting enemies to tether them to the main ship, stringing as many along behind as possible before bursting them all to rake in the points. Each enemy in the chain is worth a bit more than the last, so high scoring involves the risk of a screen cluttered up by the jumble of the tethered mass. The most recent enemy is harmless, and you can start the chain reaction of destruction by ramming it to cause each ship in the line to burst one after the other, but the rest of the enemies will end the run with a single hit whether they’re part of the tether or not. Good scoring comes from knowing when to destroy the chain and when to keep building, but it’s very hard to let go once you’ve got a good collection going. Just one more enemy will send the score through the roof, after all, so obviously it makes more sense to take zero points from a death rather than run the risk of not maximizing what you’ve got.
The current plan for Space Dance is to use player feedback to polish its existing level while adding at least another four songs and several game modes over the course of development. Right now Space Dance is $0.99, but as the game grows over the coming months that’s going to go up. For right now, though, it’s the price of a few rounds of that weird new game sitting in the corner of an 80’s arcade, just begging for a few quarters to show what it can do.