The opening cutscene of Freedom Finger elegantly delivers the mood and style for this shmup (shoot ‘em up) game, if the menu wasn’t a big enough hint. The player sits in the cockpit of a single space shuttle, surrounded by items and symbols that provide a clear glimpse into the main character’s personality. Major Cigar delivers orders to the player, the airman, while smoking a cigar and drinking a beer. Also, immediately introduced is a technical nerd that tries to act as the voice of reason. The mission simply is to destroy and avoid being destroyed!
Every character and enemy, the hazardous debris floating in space, and the slightest details on the structures in space, are completely drawn by hand and then brought to life. The art style is reminiscent of animated shows like “Rick and Morty”. If given the opportunity during all the action, glance at the background for a glimpse at what is happening in space. You might notice the destruction of a planet, and the space debris is interesting too. The controls are fluid, even on keyboard, with great accuracy and physics typical of a shmup. Freedom Finger plays horizontal, from left to right, and the ship can do more than shoot. The airman’s ship is a hand closed into a fist, except the middle finger, which can punch buttons to open/close doors, knock out enemies, and disable traps. The main character’s middle-finger ship can also grab some enemies, turning them into weapons the player can utilize. This tactic was tricky because it requires the player come within close range of the enemy, leaving you vulnerable.
No amount of information provided in the description for Freedom Finger will prepare the player for just how much music drives the action. Everything meshes exceptionally well. Enemies flying toward the ship may speed up or slow down if the pace of the music changes, or even shift across the screen with a certain beat. This game is unconventional, and the music chosen is no different. These are songs in the metal genre with themes that coincide with the game. If the music driven gameplay is not enough, the voice acting will absolutely submerge you in the story.
As of the demo this reviewer experienced, I am eager to play more and find out exactly what is going to happen in this story involving an international space war. I wonder if Major Cigar will send his airman to his death. Freedom Finger delivers a challenge to experienced players of the shoot ‘em up genre while being entertaining and fun to make someone less familiar want to give it a try. Developed and published by Wide Right Interactive, I look forward to the release and full experience of Freedom Finger.