Originally released as a freeware game for the PC
(and later released for $1.00 on the Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace
), Squid Yes! Not So Octopus! is a shooter in the same style as Geometry Wars
. Squid Yes! Not So Octopus! was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace on November 1, 2009 for 80 Microsoft Points. Developed by Oddjob on PC and Loafjaw on the Xbox Live Marketplace, SY!NSO! is based off of a forum post.
The game's origins can be traced back to a forum joke. In a thread discussing Giga Wing
and the ridiculously high scores possible (in the trillions), one person suggested that somebody make a game where the highest possible score is 9. So, Robert D. Fearon
set out to do just that. In addition to those humorous origins, the name of the game is taken from a lyric from an 80s band.
The game involves SYNSO, an "atomic radioactive squid with anger issues." Despite it being his birthday, alien robots from the planet Thwip decide to attack. SYNSO is enraged by this, and decides to "show the Thwippers that they really picked the wrong house."
Despite being a top-down shooter, SYNSO is not a dual stick shooter. It is a single stick shooter, with the A button firing. This makes so that bullets can only be fired in the direction the player is facing, adding a level of challenge. The entire goal of the game is to survive for eight minutes, and attain the fabled score of 9.
Besides just shooting, enemies drop score boosters that give point totals of around 0.0000100 (or less), while enemies give slightly more points. Also unlike Geometry Wars, many enemies shoot lasers at SYNSO. This helps to differentiate the game more from the games which inspired it. The game only gives the player one life, so if SYNSO is shot or hit by an enemy, it's game over.
Many options exist in the Xbox Live Indie Game version that were not in the PC release. First off, the graphics are updated and there are many more visual options. Next, there are four "classic arcade" backgrounds available, rather than just one screen. There are new types of enemies and an online leaderboard as well.