Title: Ray-Hound
Developer: Hikware
Publisher: unpublished
Date Released: 01/06/2007 (version 0.91)
Platforms: PC (Win32 / DirectX 9)

From the creators of Warning Forever, desktop time-wasters have a new tool in their arsenal against productivity! The game is deceptively simple and very addictive. There is no story, which is good, because a complete lack of English language documentation means you probably wouldn't get it anyway. This game is a refresher course in the basics--killing aliens! Or something else that shoots lasers.


  1. Your mouse.

Yeah, that's about it. The mouse movement dictates the direction your ship travels on screen. Left click fires a . . . laser-catcher shield of some sort. We'll get to that. Right click pauses the game.


Even though the game is a top view, 2D space affair, things look great. The enemy units shoot pink hued lasers and your ship creates blue hued lasers. The beams combine in a beautiful geometric fashion, but that has to do with gameplay.


There isn't a lot to be said about the sound. It's good, but there are about six sound effects in the whole game. Everything is done in stereo so when action happens off screen, you can still tell where things are coming from. It's a very useful tool that makes a big difference in the game.


Enemies are all unmoving laser turrets that fire in one of three patterns. The patterns usually depend on the arrangement of the enemies.

A given number of bad guys spawn each round. Some are alone, hanging out in space. Others spawn together in a circle. If they they are in a circle, the enemies will alternate firing their firing patterns. They either fire in your general direction (sending out a ring of lasers), at your exact location such that all lasers converge on a single point, or they all face outwards from the circle and fire into the void. As you eliminate the turrets, the cirle closes ranks and shrinks.


This is the tricky part. You are being fired on by multiple assailants from all directions and apparently you forgot to strap on your space blaster before leaving port. Fear not! You have a laser pulse redirectional field-thing. There are two ways to hoist the bad guys on their own petard.

Dash: While the mouse movement will push you around the screen, if you quickly snap the mouse in one direction you will perform dash in that direction. You can tell that it has been executed correctly when you see a blue shield arc on the front of your ship. This arc will actually deflect any incoming lasers, turning them blue in the process. It will take you a few ships to get the timing right, but if you angle things correctly you can bounce the lasers back into the originating ship. Or other ships, it's up to you.

Laser Lasso: This is the weirdest part. When you left click, a blue field momentarily radiates outward from your ship. Any enemy lasers that are caught inside this field will turn blue and begin to orbit your ship as long as you hold down the left mouse button. When you release the left mouse button, the lasers shoot out in whatever their current direction of travel is.

The laser lasso is what gives the game it's geometric beauty. When you capture a laser, it is immediately pulled toward your ship. No worries though, once caught the laser only damages enemy ships. But that's how it begins the orbiting pattern. It passes around your ship and once it gets to the edge of the laser lasso range, it turns back and heads for your ship again. Repeat indefinitely. Late in the game, when you're capturing 15 lasers at once, your ship appears to become the sun of a solar system of swirling, electric blue comets. As your release them, 15 comets streak off, as if the sun's gravity vanished and they streak through waves of incoming pink lasers. Dozens of hot pink lines converge into a single point, you, only to be captured and hurled back through an incoming disc of a dozen more hot pink lasers. The dance continues as long as you can take the punishment.

All in all, it's a free download and a great time waster. I recommend it to anyone who needs to take a break from noding or work, whichever comes first.

A LateQuest 2007 submission for Everything Quests: Games and Distractions.

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