Transcripted takes two fairly disparate gameplay concepts and combines them to create something new. Specifically, it blends 2D omnidirectional shooting with a match-three puzzle mechanic. Or, if you want the elevator pitch, as it was given to me by publisher TopWare's PR director Jake DiGennaro, it's Geometry Wars meets Zuma. Developed by Alkemi Games, a three man team in France, Transcripted tells the story of a nano-probe launched into a human body in order to fend off a virus attacking the host's genetic code. The probe shoots attacking germs, which release colored cubes that must then be launched into infected strands of DNA in order to deconstruct them.
As in Zuma, the colored blocks of the DNA strands march around the screen in a predetermined path, ranging from a simple straight line to more complex patterns like spirals. The catch, of course, is that you have to survive the enemy onslaught while simultaneously making enough matches to clear the level. Later levels introduce bosses that require both blasting and matching to defeat.
Beyond the basic mechanics, Transcripted features an experience-based upgrade system for the probes weapons and abilities. And of course there's the requisite techno music and neon visuals we've come to expect from omnidirectional shooters over the last few years.
Transcripted launches for PC and Mac next month at a wallet friendly price of $10. TopWare is also looking into porting it to Xbox Live Arcade PlayStation Network (PS3 and Vita) as well. Based on what I saw, it should make for a solid budget download.