Through six campaign levels and a survival mode, you can take one of three ships out into the galactic battles that await you. Each ship has a different weapon load-out and focus, from the usual all around ship, to the highly armored defensive one, and the extremely frail but powerful one. Each has a different primary weapon, plus special weapon which you charge by killing bogies and pulling off combos. Enemies will also drop upgrades and power-ups, some of which permanently enhance your ship, until you run out of lives, anyway.
This is a side-scrolling shooter in every sense of the word, but one interesting feature makes it feel a bit more unique and open. You aren’t just set on rails heading in one direction. You can actually flip your ship to face left or right, and explore each level fully. This is great for levels like the second, in which you must escort an allied ship through enemy infested territory. You can scout ahead and clear enemies as fast as you are able. I had a lot of trouble keeping the allied ship alive, even on lower difficulties, which is why I say the difficulty could use some tweaking.
As I mentioned, the 3-D visuals are crisp and the soundtrack is just great, with more traditional sci-fi sounds along with retro chip tunes. Although, it can occasionally be hard to see what’s going on in the chaos of lasers and missiles. My Motorola Xoom had a surprising amount of trouble handling this game, with somewhat lengthy load times and bouts of lag, though you can diminish this by closing background apps. In the end, Syder Arcade HD is pure arcade shooter fun at its best, and you can download it now for just one dollar.[appbox googleplay com.studioevil.syderarcadehd]