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Sela The Space Pirate

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Bullet limbo

Product: Sela The Space Pirate | Developer: The Game Atelier | Publisher: The Game Atelier | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Arcade, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Sela The Space Pirate iPad, thumbnail 1
Sela The Space Pirate is a game that wants to be many things. It wants to be funny and likeable, it wants to be a twitchy arcade bullet-hell shooter, and it wants to be easy enough that anyone with a finger can pick it up and play.

Some of these desires, as you might imagine, it accomplishes better than others. But while there are problems and poor design choices, all in all the game just about achieves what it sets out to achieve.

It's not a classic, and it won't find itself in your games-you-don't-delete folder, but it's a nice way to waste a few hours all the same.

Epic loot

Sela The Space Pirate is all about shooting things in space until they explode. You pilot the titular space pirate's ship around bite-size levels designed to test your reactions and dexterity, blowing up aliens and grabbing the spinning coins that they drop.

You can then spend these coins on upgrading the weapon systems, armour, and coin-grabbing abilities of your pirate skiff. You control you vessel by dragging a finger anywhere on the screen. Weapons fire constantly, but you can choose between one of three by tapping buttons at the top of the screen.

The average level is around a couple of minutes long, and while they're entertaining to start with they lose a little of their sparkle after a few plays. There's none of the bombastic ingenuity of the likes of Treasure here - instead you're battling waves of similar ships blasting out similar bursts of energy.

Pattern forming

Each level is bookended by some dialogue between Sela and her robotic first mate. It's reasonably entertaining the first time you read it, but when you need to replay a level you have to tap through the conversation again.

There are other little annoyances, too, like the first mate's head popping up when you take damage and obscuring a portion of the screen, and there are some polishing issues that see chunks of scenery disappear when large explosions occur.

Still, Sela The Space Pirate is an entertaining enough diversion. It doesn't have the ability to enthral like the best bullet-hell shooters, and it doesn't have the addictive quality that sets the finest arcade blasts apart, but while you're playing it you'll be concentrating too hard on staying alive and collecting things to really care.
Sela The Space Pirate
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 14 February 2013
A reasonably entertaining take on the bullet-hell genre, Sela The Space Pirate doesn't quite have the polish or the poise to compete with the best
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Feb 2013
Post count:
Feili Chen | 20:12 - 15 February 2013
Thank you for your review, I'll try to do better next time and I noted all the problems you pointed... but I take it as a good overall rate for my first shot as a full solo from A to Z self made project, this game was never intended to compete with the big company's games, so I'm quite happy. :)
I'll think about stuff I can improve with an update, and keep in mind the critics for my next game.
Thank you!