Perpetual Blast is an endless shooter. Similar to the concept of the popular endless runner genre on mobile devices, Perpetual Blast focuses on doing one thing and one thing only. Sadly, myriad execution errors keep it from being an enjoyable experience.
The idea of Perpetual Blast is simple: find and destroy 100 boxes as fast as you can. You're in control of a ship which defaults to a cockpit view; the first level sees you piloting your way through the empty vastness of space.
Your ship in Perpetual Blast is heavily affected by your inertia, meaning your ship will continue to glide along after you've stopped moving forward. It adds a bit of challenge to hunting down boxes, but is ultimately neither frustrating nor remarkable.
This title has a few options to make playing a bit easier, the first of which is "helper lines". By pressing the A button lines will draw across the screen making it easier to locate the boxes floating in the void. When you first start out finding boxes is an easy task, but when you get down to the last 20 or so it can become much more difficult - for reasons we'll discuss later in this review.
The game also makes good use of some of the Wii U GamePad's unique features. Off-TV play is enabled by default and audio can be rerouted from TV to the pad with the push a button. It also supports gyroscopic aiming, though its implementation is frustrating. Your ship must be level and sitting still in order to use it, but the game's in-cockpit camera option doesn't lend itself to letting you know when you're level. The reticle will change to signify you can now enable the feature, but it's very finicky, and is only useful as long as you remain still. Given that the boxes don't move it works, but disabling it every time you need to move on can be more effort than it's worth.
Unfortunately, Perpetual Blast isn't much of a looker, either. Graphics aren't everything, but in this case they're actually detrimental to the gameplay. The level in which you start appears to be open space, but seems as though you're endlessly flying against a two-dimensional backdrop. There's a single 3D planet in the distance and a light source up above, but the only frame of reference the player has for their movement is the boxes, as you're incapable of drawing nearer to the only other 3D object in the space. This means your hunt for the final box in a stage can draw out for quite a while, as it will become the sole point of reference for your location in the world; in addition the draw distance is quite low. Later levels remedy this by containing free standing structures, but as the objectives don't vary between them it's unlikely you'll want to continue long enough to see those better-designed worlds.
Perpetual Blast is all about destroying boxes as quickly as possible, and yet it has no leaderboards or online features to compare scores with friends. There also isn't any Miiverse integration, so players have no hope of sharing the scores with the community at large. Instead your best time is displayed in the cockpit view. If you choose to play in zoomed mode, which removes the HUD, your best time isn't displayed at all. The background music is largely forgettable and doesn't quite fit the theme of the game either. Its biggest flaw, however, might be its lack of difficulty. There's no way to lose in Perpetual Blast. You won't lose if you hit a building or a box, you'll just bounce off and continue your attack. The only challenge is that you set for yourself.
Strange options, like a "level warp" button that seems to serve to just reset the game, as opposed to bringing you to a different level, coupled with its barebones presentation leave Perpetual Blast feeling less like a finished product and more like a prototype or technical demo. Substantial updates could eventually make it a title worth playing, but it's just not there yet.
It's hard to call Perpetual Blast a game. It feels a more like a technical demo than a finished product. The barebones presentation and feature set leave much to be desired, and if you've played one level you've played them all as they are, essentially, the same. If Star Fox Zero's recent delay has you itching for a space shooter, you may be better off waiting for your Arwing than taking flight in this budget eShop title