Dual-stick space shooters are fairly popular within the AppStore. It seems like every time I turn around, there’s another DSSS available. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, because since Meteor Blitz, one of the very first games I ever bought in the AppStore, I’ve been hooked on them. Lei Cao’s War on Geometry is the most recent title at the moment, but it’s not exactly what you would expect from a game that’s set-up like a dual-stick shooter. There are no joysticks.
The controls are set up so you’ll need to place your finger over your ship, and drag it all around the screen while using another finger to tap and hold where you want to shoot. It plays as frustrating as it sounds, leaving you to try and keep your hands and fingers out of your field of vision as much as possible while moving your ship all around the screen, and firing, usually banging your fingers together and wrapping them around one another quite a bit. That’s not to say that this is a bad game, because it’s not, and I’m sure that the controls are a lot easier to use on an iPad, with the HD build, but on a small screen, the controls do pose a very big issue. Especially once you find out how the game starts.
You’ll find yourself in the middle of the screen, needing to shoot a white orb to start the game. Once you shoot the orb, circles and triangles start coming directly at you from all sides of the screen, making it extremely hard to get out of the way, because you’re always going to be blocking a section of the screen with your fingers. Good luck trying to shoot your way out, because it’ll require you to block even more of the screen with another finger.
But if you can make it out of this first wave of enemies, the game starts to open up, but it’ll take a while to get use to the controls, because each following wave follows the same pattern. Enemies moving to the center of the screen from all sides of your device. But you’ll generally be able to face them with more firepower, as while you’re maneuvering out of the way of the first wave, or usually almost right after that, two optional power-ups appear on the screen, one a laser, and another a slightly powered up version of your original weapon.
There are no GameCenter leaderboards or achievements, but there is an in-game world leaderboard, which you are able to submit your highest score to, which means no hacked scores, but also no competing with GC friends, or replaying for achievements. For $0.99 (also $0.99 for the HD build), it’s not bad by any means, especially if you’re looking for a game with a real challenge, but hopefully in a future update, some joysticks will be added, making the game less frustrating for the majority of players out there. It would also be nice to see some added modes, as there are tons of dual-stick shooters available in the AppStore that almost all have loads of gameplay modes, and provide a more entertaining gaming experience for the same price, or even less (yes, that’s right, free – think PewPew).