Paladin – Review

Protect the cities, destroy the aliens and upgrade your fighter. Drive back the vile invading scum and save mankind in this frantic twin-stick shooter!


You pilot a highly manoeuvrable space fighter across a 2d landscape, charged with saving the last remaining human cities from destruction.

With its roots in retro, side-scrolling classic arcade games like Defender, Paladin mixes old-school gameplay with a modern 360-degree twin-stick control scheme and vibrant vector style glowing graphics.

Each alien killed releases a cash bounty – collect these and upgrade your fighter’s abilities at the end of each level. Replenish your shields? Go big on nukes? Max up your standard cannon? The choice is yours.


  • 40 levels to progress through.
  • 5 star fighters to pilot – choose your favourite.
  • Kill aliens, earn cash and upgrade your craft.
  • Blast your way through waves of asteroids, hunters, drones, spawners, grunts and many, many more.
  • 4 evil end of level bosses to battle along the way.
  • Multiple Achievements to chart your progress throughout the game.
  • Are you hardcore, or just want to chill out? A selection of difficulty levels to match your mood.


Twin stick shooters seem to be having a renaissance on next-gen consoles of late and Paladin from Pumpkin Games is the latest one to land on our desk here at HGR Towers. I have had the pleasure of reviewing most of the twin-stick shooters in my time here and for the most part, they have been fun and challenging to play. Paladin fills one of those criteria in that it is hugely fun to play but I found it to be rather easy to complete, so much so that it only took me 45 minutes to complete the campaign. Now you would be correct in thinking that this is a rather disappointing fact but there is replayability provided by online scoreboards and 3 difficulty settings to have a pop at. My playthrough was done on normal the middle of the 3 settings, so I suppose I could challenge myself and go through again on hard should I wish to. Another factor for replayability is different ships, there are 5 to choose from and each ship has different weapons and attributes.

The gameplay consists of you piloting your ship and eliminating the various enemies that fill your screen, their objective is to kill you and also to rain damage down on the cities that you are trying to protect. This game mechanic is one of a few nods to classic arcade games that I found whilst playing, Missile Command (city protection) and Asteroids (one of the enemies in later levels) are just 2 that I will mention, see how many you can spot if you play and post your thoughts in the comments section below. Be interesting to see if I missed any.

Graphically, Paladin ticks the boxes for me. It tries and succeeds to capture the classic arcade style of early video games and use a glowing vector style to good effect. The speed and smoothness are there to see and it really was fun to play. There is a high-intensity retro arcade soundtrack that fits perfectly with the style of the game and, for me at least, enhanced the old school feel of Paladin.

When you shoot and destroy the enemies they leave behind a cash bounty which you have to fly over to pick up. These funds can be used in the shop at the end of each level (40 in all) to upgrade your ships weapons and also to bolster your city defences and you can also buy extra lives, you start the game with 3 lives and have a maximum of 10 through purchases.

Every 10 levels there is a boss to defeat, so 4 bosses in total. I’d like to say that each boss is different from the last……but I can’t…….because they’re not.

Achievement wise there are 20 to unlock giving a total of 1000 GP and I have to say it’s the easiest 1000 GP that I’ve ever obtained.

In summary……Paladin is a slick, smooth retro arcade twin-stick shooter that is huge fun to play but it’s way too short. If you’re after a quick easy 1000 GP then spend your money on Paladin. If you’re after a deep lengthy campaign then this isn’t for you.

I’m going to award Paladin 6/10 but I did enjoy playing it and will return to boost my online scoreboard placings if I have an hour to spare.


Code for review was provided by Pumpkin Games and as always we thank you.