On the Demo Floor | BARK: Bio-Interstellar Ark | E3 2021

Alongside game announcements, many developers give us demos of their games to play. I am here to talk about one of my personal favorites, BARK: Bio-interstellar Ark. This game caught my eye immediately with its very cute premise and genre of choice. Alongside the demo itself, I was able to sit down with the developers, Tic Toc Games, and get some insightful comments about the game and its development. Time to choose your animal, hop in your spaceship, and blast through this review of the BARK demo.

The Story of BARK

Even if this is only a demo, we do have a good grasp of what is going on. A dark force, called the Dark tide, is attacking throughout the solar system. The crew of four playable characters, Barker the Dog, Felicity the Cat, Lucio the Bear, and Marc the Rabbit, are found floating in space after the escape ship containing them and their owners are attacked by the Dark Tide. Will you be able to save the Solar System and fight back against the Dark Tide? Well, the depends on your skill in Shoot ’em Ups.

A Shoot ‘Em Up for New and Veteran Players.

BARK is quite the shoot ’em up. I have played a lot of them and honestly have to say this is one of the best modern shoot ’em ups out there. I decided to test the claim that this game is easy for new comers a little and asked one of my friends to help me out. Essentially asked them if they had difficulty with the demo. They basically told me not at all. They found the game pretty easy compared to what they thought it would be like.

The difficulty also wasn’t too easy during my time with the demo. I was told during my time with the developers that there is an insane difficulty that you can unlock. They also showed me some game play footage of the planet in the demo on insane difficulty. It looked intense and I can’t wait to get my hands on the full release to play that difficulty myself and see how hard the game can get. It was stressed to me that the game gets harder as you progress to take you from learning the basics to mastering them.

Let’s Meet the Squad

The playable characters in this game are wonderful. The cute Saturday morning cartoon vibe of them caught my eye right away. The developers said was intentional to make the game more welcoming. Each animal has unique abilities that come from different inspirations, such as Gradius and Super Defense Force. There is Barker the Dog whose ship “Wishbone” recruits buddies for extra firepower. Felicity the Cat and her spread shot ship “Payback”. Lucio the Bear and his helpful shield ship “Mossy Pig II”. And lastly, Marv the Rabbit in his ship “Lucky 7” with homing bullets. Each animal also has unique specials. Personally, I found that Barker and his shot buddy special was my favorite, but I started getting a strong liking towards Marv by the time I finished with the demo.

Take On Big, Exciting Bosses

There was only one big boss to fight in the demo, Spike. His boss fight was pretty fun with his different mechanics. He has this attack where he shatters an asteroid all over the screen. You have to blast them apart so that you have room to dodge before he charges you. This was actually a good starting boss fight. It wasn’t too difficult and fairly tests if you have the basics of the game down.

Play and Compete With Friends

This is certainly a game that wants you to play with friends. Yeah, you can play this as a solo experience and have a fun time with it. According to the developers, the game is roughly two hours long in length. It has different things to unlock for completing the game. I did not get too much co-op time with the demo, but from what I played with my friend it was a good experience. Points drop when enemies die and the goal is to collect more points than the other players. While also working together to make it through the level. I felt that there was a good balance between co-op and competitive game play here.

Last Strike

BARK just screams passion project. It is a ton of fun and I encourage all of you reading this to go out and try the demo this week. Bring your friends along and have a blast trying out what BARK has to offer. Also, keep an eye out for an upcoming announcement from the developers of BARK where they will hopefully give us the release date. I can’t wait to play more of this game and eagerly await the release.