The Elite Institute’s ‘impressions’ series are not full reviews of titles. As we pride ourselves on providing in-depth reviews for games that we have beaten or completed, our ‘impressions’ instead focus on providing you with details on the game along with our general thoughts on the title, to help shape your opinion. This means that there will be no score, but we can hopefully give you an idea of the quality.

The reasons for doing an ‘impressions’ rather than a full review vary: perhaps it’s a genre that we don’t feel comfortable reviewing due to gaming tastes, maybe it’s too hard or too bad that we are unable to make it through, or maybe even it’s a game that just doesn’t really have an end goal.

Many thanks to RedDeerGames for the game code.


I really wanted to do a full review of P.3. I really did. I’m not exactly a fan of the genre, but this game really sunk its hooks into me after a while. However, this game is tough and requires beating in a single sitting – which is something I don’t think I’m capable of. This genre is not where my gaming strengths lie, and the game is better than I am. I accept that.

However I would like to explain why I like this game so much, and I hope it encourages you to give it a shot.

I P.3-LY
P.3 is all about the intense arcade-like gameplay, forgoing any type of story and simply focusing on a simple gameplay mechanic that’s easy to understand but surprisingly difficult to use. The good news is that your ship shoots automatically, giving you one less button to worry about; the bad news is that it only fires while holding one of the directional buttons. Constantly moving to one side results in it being quite tough to aim your shots, but you get used to it. It is possible to maintain a central-ish position by holding both buttons, but this will also activate your powerful (and limited) secondary attack.

Mastering the game’s mechanics takes time, and you’ll spend the early game missing your targets and flying into obstacles, but you’ll quickly adapt. Rapidly tapping left to right works well for maintaining your position, although both together is more reliable when squeezing through tight spaces. There’s plenty of obstacles for you to dodge in addition to enemies to shoot down, so you always have to be on guard.

On top of all this, there’s an element of randomisation with the levels too, meaning that memorisation of the level is impossible. This can work to your advantage, however, as it also means that you can get lucky and get some very useful upgrades. The upgrade system is a bit different to your normal shooter, as you need to take down a number of enemies to earn the next one. Whilst this counter resets on death, your power-ups remain, effectively making you stronger each time. It’s an excellent, rewarding system that feels a lot more enjoyable than the usual ‘lose everything on death’ nonsense. Of course, you’ll reach a point where enemy numbers aren’t as high as the required counter for a certain level, making it impossible to simply grind until you become OP. It seems like a pretty well balanced, but it is possible to choose crap upgrades and make things near impossible for yourself.

Graphically, things are very simple with everything being largely monochrome, but with flashes of red. It’s not a aesthetic that will suit everyone, but I found it pretty compelling in a minimalistic way. The music is also extremely catchy, but if you end up dying a lot like I did then it may start to get repetitive after a while. It’s still very energetic and upbeat and fits the levels perfectly.

My only real gripe with the game is that there are five levels, but you need to do it all in one shot. Exiting results in losing all your progress, and that makes it a little frustrating for novices of the genre like myself. I worked hard to get to a fair way through level four and it was rather disheartening when I had to switch it off, knowing everything would be lost. Considering the game has unlimited continues, it would be nice it is autosaved your progress at the point when you last died so you could continue later.

Check out my gameplay video below to see some footage of the game. As someone who isn’t a fan of the genre, I found it pretty addictive despite the difficulty so may be worth checking out for the cheap price.