Biolab Wars Switch Review: Brand New 80s Style Arcade Action

Do you long for a simpler time when dudes were bad, burgers were made of pink goo and you had to go to the local arcade for someone to inform you they’ve performed coitus with your mother? Well Biolab Wars is here to save the day! It’s an 80s style arcade run ‘n’ gun. There’s no RPG elements or hidden collectables, you just play as a dog in a robot suit (or one of two other characters no one cares about when you could be a dog in a robot suit), run to the right and shoot aliens in the goddamn face!

You are Earth’s last hope after aliens invade and experiment on humans and everyone new favourite dog in a robot suit, you are the Biolab protocol. Each of the 7 levels are broken into 3 stages with a 2 minute time limit so there’s no hanging about as you run, jump and shoot your way to saving the world.

Only this dog can save the world.

Along with your default pixel gun there’s 3 types of weapon powerup, a split shot, a concentrated shot and a giant bullet each with limited ammo. There’s plenty of powerups and you’ll rarely be without one of them. You also have Metal Slug style grenades at your disposal and much like Metal Slug it’s best to save these for the outlandish bosses. Every now and again you’ll come across a helper, like a satellite in classic side scrolling shooters but way more awesome because one is a cat with a helicopter backpack.

I want a cat with a helicopter backpack.

It’s not long before 80s style frustration kicks in as the difficulty ramps up. You’re going to need some serious skill and patience to survive the onslaught of awkwardly moving enemies that knock you into the copious amounts of bottomless pits. My most dreaded were little flying things reminiscent of the flies in the Aquatic Ruin zone of Sonic 2. When you get a game over you don’t need to play through the whole game again you can pick which level to start on, while this largely removes the frustration of dying over and over it also makes Biolab Wars feel a little less authentic.

You need the powerups and luckily there’s loads about.

The graphics are 8 bit the animations are very 80s rather than an 80s inspired modern game, Biolab Wars looks, feels and sounds like you could be in an arcade in the late 80s early 90s.

The soundtrack brings back hear bouncing memories of classic tunes on my Amiga and is brilliantly varied for the short title. The pew pew of guns and bone shaking explosions will drown out the music a bit but that just makes you feel like a badass as all the aliens go kaboom!

Just riding my moped exploding aliens.

If you miss the original Contra and Shinobi, if you couldn’t get enough of Data East’s Bad Dudes arcade series then Biolab Wars is definitely for you, especially at the super low price of £1.79. Biolab Wars wouldn’t feel the slightest bit out of place with a Data East logo at the beginning and being sold as a lost 80s arcade game and that is to developers credit.

Thank you to Forever Entertainment for providing the review copy. Biolab Wars is available now on the eShop for £1.79 with an extra 10% off at the time of writing.

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