There isn’t really much of a story to the game; there is some in the sense that you are obviously a spaceship flying through space in incredible speeds while other spaceships, asteroids, and…things try to demolish you. There also seems to be a mini story to each level, for instance the second level seems to be pirate themed, and the third has something to do with warp holes, but it is all very vague and does not really affect the game much anyway.
The game itself is very simple yet faced paced and hectic. As the player you control a spaceship which can move in all four directions on the screen, most of the enemies come from the right side of the screen, but sometimes there is a curveball and they will come from above or out of what you thought was a satellite broadcasting ESPN 8 to the fine people of Mars.
The spaceship has two different modes of fire. The first mode is a barrage of bullets that blast away at the enemy and the second is a guided missile that will obliterate whatever it hits. On top of your two main weapons you also get alternate abilities which seem to change from level to level. For instance, on the first level the space bar was a heat release that reset your guns heat to zero and allowed for your weapon to fire faster. On the second and third levels, the spacebar still discharged all your heat, but this time as a cone of fire that deploys in front of your ship taking down any enemies in your way. There are also some other alternate fire abilities such as the shield, the shield consumes energy which is picked up in the form of orbs that are left behind in the rubble of your destroyed foes. Without the energy from these orbs, you cannot use the shield, but properly timed and well executed you can keep a permanent shield up as you blaze through the level picking up the little yellow orbs to keep it charged. The orbs also affect your basic shields on your ship. If your basic shields deplete to zero, you will die with only one hit.
Each level you travel through space destroying countless foes and foreign objects while collecting orbs and points. At the end of each level there is a boss, all with varying weapons and abilities and therefore different tactics required to defeat them. I played the game on easy (as I said, I am bad at this!) and the boss fights weren’t too difficult, but they still offered somewhat of a challenge. I can certainly see how increasing the difficulty level could make the bosses stronger, not to mention put more enemies on your screen at the same time. The overall goal is to rack up as many points as you can in your three lives keeping in mind that each level offers bonus rewards for completing it without losing a single life.
One minor annoyance I have with the game is that it doesn’t offer a save function. Instead each level offers you a code once you complete it, the code can be inputted on the main screen to bring you back to that level without playing any of the previous ones. Using a code to skip a certain level completely resets your score and lives, but does allow you to skip some of the earlier levels in order to see everything the game has to offer, especially for baddies like myself who can’t beat the game in only three lives. Rapture makes up for the code system somewhat by at least making the codes fun, for example the code for the third level is LEYEFUVASALR (Life of a Sailor) and the level is pirate themed. This minor addition makes writing down the codes a little less bothersome as there is a fun little message to decode each time.