Alpha Wave, a great time killer game for Windows Phone

Alpha Wave is an arcade styled Windows Phone game that reminds me of a cross between Galaga and Asteroids. Think of it as a version of Impossible Shoota that has less movement and more graphic punch.

Alpha Wave has three levels of difficulty, three gaming arenas and over sixty-five waves of enemies and dangers to destroy. Add twenty-four gaming achievements and there is plenty of gaming involved to help you kill time. Alpha Wave is a fast paced, eye appealing, fun game to add to your Windows Phone gaming library.

Game Setup - Throwing everything at you but the kitchen sink

The premise of Alpha Wave is that you are piloting a space ship that must survive wave after wave of asteroids, enemy ships, mines, and other dangers that are hurtling towards you. You have asteroids of all shapes and sizes that explode into smaller asteroids, space ships that shoot back, space ships that drop bonus items and bosses that are rather stubborn. The only thing missing is a few kitchen sinks being tossed at you.

The main menu for Alpha Wave has options to jump into game play, access gaming options, view the local leaderboard, check out your gaming achievements and exit the game. You also have buttons to follow the game over on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Alpha Wave's settings cover turning on/off the game's sound and music, choosing the graphics quality and turning on/off the game's vibration feature. Load times are somewhat timely with Alpha Wave and if they become painfully slow, consider dialing down the graphics level. The high quality graphics adds a good bit of detail to the game screen but if you opt for the low quality, Alpha Wave looks rather nice.

I like the vibration feature in that it alerts you when space rocks or enemy fire hits your ship. The game is rather intense at times and without the vibration alert, you may not realize your ship is taking on damage.

Alpha Wave's game play has three difficulty levels (easy, normal and hard) with three gaming arenas that include Stonewall, Black hole and Darkstar. The three arenas delivers a slight variety of dangers to destroy and a change in outer space scenery.

Prior to each game, Alpha Wave presents you with a help section that you can scroll through either to refresh your memory or skip by tapping the Start button. The help section does a good job covering game mechanics, specialty weapons and weapons power-ups.

Two words describes Alpha Wave's game play (one if you prefer hyphens) - fast paced. Objects will enter the gaming screen from the top and both sides. Things start out slow with single asteroids you have to blast then they progressively pick up speed and volume.

The layout of the gaming screen has your vital stats running across the top of the screen that includes your ship's health, score, wave number, any points multipliers and your consecutive hit counts. The more consecutive targets you hit, the greater your points multiplier.

Weapons control is automatic and you move your ship from side to side with two, on-screen directional buttons. About midway up the sides of the screen are two specialty weapons. The super bomb destroys everything on the screen in a single blast. The hyper mode gives your ship's weapons a shot of adrenaline to blast everything on the screen into space dust. Both specialty weapons essentially wipes the screen of enemies just with two different styles. The nice thing about these specialty weapons is that while they are single use, they will recharge with time.

There are a handful of power-ups that fall from enemy ships as they are destroyed. They include three different weapon styles and a health power-up that will repair some of your ship's damage.

Overall Impression

Alpha Wave is a fast paced, intense, challenging, eye-appealing Windows Phone game. It is well suited for killing short bits of time or can hold up to longer gaming sessions.

The only complaint I can lodge against the game's performance is that load times are noticeably slow. Granted the graphic quality is probably the culprit and if it gets too bad, you can dial things down to shorten this delay a bit. It is not an issue where you can cook a pot of spaghetti while the game loads and on the plus side, the game looks so good it is worth the wait.

While Alpha Wave is an attractive Windows Phone game, the deal killer may be the lack of a trial version. It shouldn't be too difficult to restrict a trial version to one gaming mode and cap game play at a certain point level. I think Alpha Wave is worth the price of admission but why developers refuse to offer a trial version is still a mystery.

Alpha Wave is available for low-memory devices such as the Lumia 520 and load times are on par with the 1GB+ devices; a little on the slow side but not agonizingly so.

While I would have liked to have seen a trial version, the bottom line is that Alpha Wave is an enjoyable arcade styled game for Windows Phone.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.