Search Results for: label/Dual20Stick20Shooters/index.html

Number of Results: 10

Rocket Riot (Codeglue + Chillingo) – $2.99

We’ve said before that we absolutely love just about all of the ports that have found their way to the AppStore. One of them that happened to slip under our reviewing radar was released back in 2009 on XBLA. After making its way to Windows Phone 7, it was eventually ported over to the iOS late last year. Getting an 8.5 on IGN, as well as being an Editor’s Choice, and receiving an 80% on Game Rankings, I was really excited when I first saw the trailer, after hearing that it was coming to the AppStore. Rocket Riot, developed by Codeglue, a Dutch development company who had previously released titles for the Pocket PC, J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition), Nokia, generic Smartphones, as well as previous iOS titles, had also had their hands in Toki Tori, the fantastic puzzle platformer, and had a good 8 years of game development under their belts at the time (now, almost 10). 
Published by Chillingo, Rocket Riot got quite a bit of attention, but still remains a sort of hidden gem of the AppStore, with it’s best position on the AppStore charts at #16, in the Neatherlands, and then fading away into the backlog of lost and forgotten iOS games about a month after it’s release. 
Not to say that Rocket Riot is a game that’s worth forgetting. It was released mid-November of 2011, basically right before the craziness of the December AppStore, when just about every game went on sale, and developers scurried to get their games released before the 2 week shut-down Apple has at the end of the year. Unless you’re a major company and have a game that’s extremely hyped up, chances are your game is going to basically tank if you release it around this time. 
Now, to the game. Rocket Riot is a sort of dual-stick shooter that’s built up like a sort of arena-type platformer (along the lines of Scorched Monster, BlibBlob, Bloo Kid, and to a lesser extent, Super Crate Box, Muffin Knight and Spellsword). You’ll control one of hundreds of available characters, which you can unlock as you progress throughout the game, as you chase after the evil pirate Blockbeard. The controls might take a little getting use to, with a sort of invisible joystick for movement on the left side of the screen, and an invisible tap-n-drag control for shooting your projectiles on the right. Firing works very well, however, being able to swipe frantically in the direction you want to shoot your missile launcher feels natural, and is a perfect fit for the game. 
There are two other control schemes available, with the joystick option, you still need to drag on the left side of the screen to move, but to fire, you can just hold down on the screen, moving the joystick to the right around to auto-fire in that direction. The last control scheme uses the iDevice’s tilt option to move, while utilizing the default swipe to shoot controls for firing your weapon. The controls do work well enough, though I would have preferred an actual static joystick for movement. 
There’s 48 story mode levels, each with their own completion objectives, usually just killing a set amount of enemies that randomly appear throughout the stage, but also thrown into the mix are levels that have you find a football, and bring it back to the uprights at the other end of the stage, given objects which you’ll need to destroy before being taken out by the level’s enemies, boss battles, and more, making for a nice variety of gameplay throughout the campaign. Also included is an Extra Levels Mode, which contains 6 especially challenging stages with either ‘kill every enemy’ or ‘destroy this object’ objectives. 
As you start blasting away at the environments, which are all completely destructible, various power-up boxes will appear randomly, before the environment starts rebuilding itself. These items can either boost up your shot, change your shot, give you extra defense, or be a total pain in the butt. Ranging from super big missiles, to shooting various sports balls and from missiles that drop straight down to a ‘bang’ flag that does absolutely no damage at all, and more, learning what boxes to pick up and which ones to avoid is extremely important, especially when trying to ‘3 Rocket’ (rockets are in place of stars for the level rankings, dependant on how long it takes you, how many shots you fire and how much of the environment you destroy) each stage. 
The graphics stand out as being a highlight of the game. 8-bit stylized pixels are put together in a 2.5D-like environment, with a modern look. It’s something I’ve yet to see done in an iOS game, or any other console game for that matter. The animations for explosions fill the screen with small pixels, making for some very hectic feeling gameplay. The music and sound effects also add to this quite a bit, giving the game a great arcade look and feel. 
GameCenter is supported, including 9 separate leader boards; Total Points, Pirate Levels, Warehouse Levels, Army Levels, Chips Levels, Mansion Levels, Lab Levels, Space Levels and Bonus Levels, along with 12 achievements, which will take even the most hardcore gamers quite a while to unlock (Shoot every type of enemy at least once, shoot 20 enemies in 60 seconds, get 50 long shots, destroy 1,000,000 blocks and more). With it’s content, polish, and the incredibly entertaining gameplay, it feels perfectly priced at $2.99. Being Universal helps out with that as well. Granted, it is a Chillingo publication, and from the long period of games that haven’t been updated since their release, it’s still a great game, with no bugs that I’ve come across, and basically endless replay value, especially if you want to try and better your times in the extra levels, or compete for better scores on the leaderboards. Rocket Riot is definitely a hidden gem that you’ll want to snag if you’re a fan of Dual-Stick Shooters, Arcade/Arena Score Chasing titles, or a fan of XBLA ports (I know you’re out there! I’m one of you…). 

Wispin [Grumpyface Studios] – $1.99/$2.99

I won’t bore you with the excessively long list of games that were released before the inception of The App Shack. Needless to say; it’s LONG. But there are handful of games that will never leave certain iDevices, and games that we’re reminded of when a developer comes out with another iOS release. One of those games happens to be Grumpyface’s Wispin. Wispin was one of the first FREE games I ever got in the AppStore, back in December of 2010, right after I found out that developers actually had days that they would give their games away for nothing. That’s right, I was a slow learner. But once I found that out, I turned into an AppStore junkie, and Grumpyface’s Wispin had remained and been transferred over to every iDevice I’ve owned, and the release of Super Mole Escape has reignited my love of the game. 
Now, just like Bring Me Sandwiches!! and Super Mole Escape, Wispin is a little wacky. Granted, it’s not as totally off the wall as BMS!!, but Grumpyface’s humble roots are definitely showcased within it. Wispin contains 3 separate environments each in 2 different gameplay modes; Standard, which starts you out with 3 lives, and Intense, which starts you out with 1, and further into the hectic, Standard gameplay. 
Containing two control methods, there are two different ways to play the game, and I absolutely love when controls offer up a totally new gameplay experience. When using the tilt control method, Wispin plays a little like Tilt To Live, with color control, and using the virtual joystick plays more like a dual-stick arcade title. 
The main goal is to change the color of Wispin with the color wheel, to match up your color with the enemy’s color, and then smash into them, effectively destroying them. There are 3 different colors you can turn Wispin into; Red, Green and Blue. However, not all enemies follow this set of 3 colors all the time. Occasionally, they will turn purple, yellow, orange, and more, making you avoid them until they turn back into one of the 3 basic colors you can match up with. Wave after wave, Wispin is an endless game, with you trying to survive as long as you can. 
The scoring system helps add to the fantastic gameplay, with perfect rounds and multipliers/combos, reaching for both is essential in scoring big. At the end of each wave, if you did not get injured by one of the evil Bloopers, you’ll get a ‘Perfect Wave’ bonus, and this bonus score increases with each consecutive perfect wave you manage to get. Multipliers and combos are based on a gauge. Once you destroy a Blooper, the gauge is filled, and starts quickly running down. To keep a combo going, you’ll need to destroy another Blooper before the gauge empties again. This gauge can also be filled up to the point where you’ll spin wildly around, bouncing off of everything in a ‘controlled’ sort of chaos that lets you destroy all Bloopers of all colors. 
Along with the spinning power-up, there are items which you’re able to pick up as you make your way through each wave. Cheese that draws Bloopers of a certain color into one area, bombs that take out one color of Bloopers, arrows that you can fling at Bloopers and a special tap power-up, which, once activated, turns Wispin into a blob, disappearing from the gameplay area, and lets you tap on each of the Bloopers, destroying them. The items do stack up when you collect like items, but if you pick up a cheese item when holding arrows, the arrows will be replaced. 
The graphics and animations in Wispin are fantastic. Cartoon-esque environments and character models, which are great by the way, and great explosion/death animations all runs extremely smooth, even on 1st Generation iPod Touch devices. The music and sound effects are great as well, adding to the arcade sound and feel of the whole game. 
Although it could use another gameplay mode and more enemies. Maybe a couple more power-ups, with Wispin priced at $1.99, and $2.99 for the HD build (which has bigger gameplay areas, and re-sized virtual controls), and GameCenter support with 14 separate leaderboards, including boards for highest score in both Standard and Intense Modes on each of the 3 different environments, highest wave reached in each environment, longest survival time in each environment, highest combo and total Bloopers destroyed, as well as 21 hard to snag achievements, there’s endless replay value, and several different ways to play when score-chasing. Since Wispin’s release, Grumpyface has created two more extremely wild and fun titles, both of them getting 5 star ratings in our reviews, but it’s great coming back to Wispin, to see where it all started. It’s a game that was amazing when it was released, and still holds up extremely well a couple years later. I’d definitely recommend it to all iOS gamers, casual and hardcore, and consider it a classic iOS game. 

Inferno+ [Radiangames] – $2.99

Radiangames has definitely made a huge splash in the AppStore with their previous releases of Super Crossfire, Fireball SE, and Ballistic SE. Earlier this week, their newest release, Inferno+, hit the AppStore, and as you might have expected, it’s one hell of a game. 
Originally released on XBOX Live like their previous titles, this enhanced version of Inferno includes 40 levels, multiple upgrades, 3 difficulty levels along with a special New Game+ difficulty, 20 Game Center achievements, Retina Support for the new iPad and iCloud saving. 
Unlike Radiangames past releases, Inferno+ is not a high-score chasing game. Instead, it’s centered around exploration, blasting away hoards of enemies and upgrading your ship. Granted, Super Crossfire, Fireball and Ballistic were all about blasting away enemies and upgrading your ship, but none of them included the exploration aspect, and considering this is the first title by Radiangames that includes exploration as a main gameplay aspect, they’ve done a fantastic job building Inferno+ around it. 
While you’re blasting enemies, you’ll be searching around each of the levels trying to find all of the orbs, keys, bombs, and hidden areas. The orbs are used to unlock upgrades and purchase items like extra drones which follow close behind you, and help destroy the enemies, bombs, which take out screens full of enemies, and keys, which unlock areas of the levels that are behind impassable boarders. 
You will need to collect all of the bombs you can because there are some enemies which require a bomb to take them out. There are also black holes which can only be dealt with either by completely avoiding them, or blowing them up. There’s also a shield power which you can upgrade with electricity, allowing for you to damage enemies while using your shield. In the later levels, switching between your shot and shield will be a maneuver you’ll need to get comfortable with in order to get through the game. 
Adding to the excitement and overall feel of progression, every 10 levels will take you to a boss battle. These boss battles can get very hectic, and are some of the most exciting sections of the entire game. It is kind of upsetting that you can’t go back and replay previously beaten levels, because these boss battles would get loads and loads of gameplay out of me.

There are also hidden areas which are behind the levels walls. In order to find these, you’ll need to either drag against the walls, or fire your shots directly at them. Your shots go through the holes in the walls, which can also be used to your advantage, as the enemies can not go through the holes in the walls. There are some holes which only open up after you reach a certain area of the level, and some which will close behind you after you’ve entered them, letting you only go through them once. 
Also hidden throughout the game are special bonus levels. These can usually only be found by using extra keys picked up throughout the game, or purchased from the shop area. These bonus levels give you 30 seconds to make your way through a level, picking up as many orbs and bombs as you can. 

The graphics in Inferno+ are very similar to Ballistic and Fireball, with loads of circular enemies, each distinguishable by their colors. The levels are also designed with neon boarders, and the animations for explosions are also very similar to those found in Fireball and Ballistic, only not as extravagant. The controls allow for a static and dynamic control stick as well as switching the move and fire arrangement. There are also sensitivity settings and you can set the joysticks and bomb and shield buttons anywhere on the screen, which is a fantastic addition. On top of this, you can also use the Joypad application and use another device as your controller. 
Even though there’s no scoring system, and no GameCenter leaderboard, I think Inferno+ might just be my favorite game from Radiangames. If there was a scoring system alongside the gameplay, Inferno+ would blow Radiangames previous titles, as well as loads of other dual stick space shooters, out of the water. But the game centering around exploration and upgrades kind of makes up for the lack of a scoring system. With Inferno+ being priced at $2.99, being Universal, and developed by Radiangames, who are fantastic with player feedback, and with supporting their releases, it’s hard not to support a development team as responsive as they are. If you’re a fan of dual-stick shooters or exploration games, Inferno+ will be right up your ally. If you’ve already purchased Radiangames previous releases, you’ll pretty much know what you can expect with Inferno+, but if you’re new to Radiangames, this would be a fantastic title to get to know them with. Chances are, it’ll wind up on my top 10 games of 2012 list, and never leave my devices. 

You can also download the soundtrack from Radiangame’s Bandcamp page

‘Star Warfare: Alien Invasion Review’ – $0.99 [Universal]

Star Warfare: Alien Invasion is a dual-stick, first person shooter game where you are matched up against hordes of vicious aliens through a 30 stage campaign.  You can also play these levels in co-op with your friends through GameCenter.
Gameplay: 4.5/5
The object of the game revolves around one fairly simple objective: Kill as many aliens as possible. In singleplayer you are treated to 5 different arenas that each have 5 levels of difficulty to play through. After you complete a level you gain some virtual currency which you can use towards buying new weapons or pieces of armor.  You can also choose to select survival mode for each the arenas allowing you to test how long you can stay alive. This is a great way to earn a large sum of money.  In co-op you can play through these arenas with your friends or choose to attempt to beat one of the three bosses. These bosses are very tough and only experienced players with decent armor and good weapons should even attempt these missions.  There is a max of three players that can join your game.  If they die they are booted from the game if they do not have a revive potion.  Then the remaining players are allowed to keep on playing until they die since all co-op missions are survival.

Controls: 4/5
The controls are two control sticks, one for moving and one for aiming.  You tap the right stick to fire and are allowed to aim while firing which is extremely useful in intense situations.  To change the direction that you are looking in, swipe the screen above the dual sticks.  I have not had any issues with the controls on the iPad but have not had a chance to test it with my iPod yet. They definitely serve their purpose well.

Graphics: 4/5
Nothing to complain about here. The graphics look very professional and are quite good.  They fit in well with the mood the game is setting.

iAP: 3/5
This is where the game loses some of its selling points as it does have a rather large collection of iAP’s. You can choose to buy a material called mythril which can be redeemed for more in-game money or for exclusive weapons.  Though there are a fairly good amount of weapons ripe for picking the really kick ass ones cost a small fortune in mythril.  With packages of Mythril up to $99.99 dollars in price it is rather clear that they hope to make a lot of money off of these iAP’s.  Luckily you don’t necessarily need mythril to complete the game and are really only used for cosmetic purchases and unique weapons.  I wouldn’t put off buying the game just because of the in app purchases as the core game experience is really good.

Overall: 4.5/5
Overall this is an awesome FPS shooter with intense alien action and a co-op mode that lets you join forces with your friends. This is definitely a worthwhile purchase at the small price of $0.99.

War on Geometry – 0.99 ($0.99 HD) (Lei Cao)

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).

“Minions App Review” Destruction, Evil and Minions?

You know that
awkward moment when you are happily taking over the world with hundreds of
thousands minions that you created. Then they decide they should be in control
and try to overthrow you? Well the developers at Villain LLC have. AppStore
company Villain LLC  sprung onto the
market with their success of the highly acclaimed  iPhone and iPad app Archetype. Archetype an
Fps featuring things never featured on iOS shooters such as Capture the Flag
and downloadable content took hours upon hours of over 1.5 million players.
Villain has been silent ever since the release of Archetype and presto! We now
have our gaming fingers on Minions.
      Minions relies on it’s whimsical cartoon
characters, seemingly a breed between the minions in Despicable Me and Rayman’s
raving rabbids. These quirky creatures are equipped with much more than your
standard plunger. They support the whole arsenal of sound guns to wooden
hammers to bird launchers.    
     You play as a mad scientists trying to
destroy the minions that once served you. This game relies on a level based
system in which minions spawn from spawn points that can be destroyed. At the
end of the level you are judged by your time, score and amount of minions
killed. When you achieve a perfect 3 stars you will be able to boost the speed,
health and power of your character adding an rpg element to this Fps.
       If you are familiar with Archetypes
controls don’t expect anything to change. At all. A dual stick control system
is set along with an auto shoot feature in which you just aim and little tiny
robots in your Idevice fire away. On screen radar shows the minions while UI at
the top shows health, score and time remaining. While no changes to the
controls or UI are apparent, it’s simple, if it ain’t broke, use it in your
next iOS release.  
     As you blast through 8 levels and
increasing difficulties Villain delivers promises of new levels and guns to wet
your minion killing whistle. As this does not support online multiplayer the
developers focused on delivering a fun, unrealistic, quirky Fps for hardcore
and casual fans of the genre. At 99c this will not burn a hole in your wallet,
but these minions will try to burn a whole in your heart.  

by Gabriel Ruiz

Space Trooper USA – 0.99 (Bento Studio)

Space Trooper USA is a new dual-stick shooter from Bento Studio. From the start menu, after a loading screen which gives you a little bit of background, you’re thrown right into the action where you fight off wave after wave of enemies that get increasingly more difficult as you progress. Meteors crash down onto the asteroid that you’re on in random areas, releasing enemies and one big mother enemy that will keep spitting out a certain number of enemies until you kill it. The further you get into the game, the harder the enemies, and the more meteors crash into the asteroid.

This game is a high-scoring affair from the start, and the scoring system is pretty decent. You can get combos for killing enemies in quick succession, and there’s also power-ups, some of which give you a faster firing rate, or more points for each kill. There is only one mode, and that’s the endless wave mode. There’s also no options available, making this a bare-bones kind of game.
But what is here in Space Trooper USA is an action filled dual-stick gunning rampage with great looking visuals. The game is not supported by retina display, which is pretty upsetting, because the dark and atmospheric asteroid is constantly being destructed by your plasma shots, meteors, and exploding enemies, and reconstructed with a power-up that makes you invincible and restores the asteroid to it’s normal state, and these destruction and reconstruction physics look great, even without HD graphics. The music and effects also add quite a bit to the atmosphere of the game, making it even more intense and dark.
The enemies increase in difficulty as you progress from wave to wave, and there’s a lot of variation with them as well. The artificial intelligence for them isn‘t really anything special, they really just follow you around and go to the point where you‘re standing, but with the rate at which you can kill them, and they‘re spit out of the mother enemies, you will constantly be backed into a pack of enemies by another pack coming right at you. It gives the impression that the aliens are working in packs against you.
The power-ups in ST USA are great, and have quite a bit of variety. There’s 7 different power-ups, each of which are permanent, except for the invincibility/asteroid regeneration upgrade. There’s health, plasma shots, fire rate and speed increases, shot power increases, and score increase power-ups. Each of which effects how you play pretty significantly. Each time you kill a mother enemy, a power-up is dropped, and it will be one of 3 groups of power-ups, which change every couple seconds to a different power-up. Getting to the power-ups before they disappear can prove to be very dangerous later in the game, and grabbing the power-up you want can be even more difficult because you might have to wait until it changes into the power-up you’re trying to get. Bento Studio did a great job with this, as it does add quite a bit of strategy and tactical gameplay to Space Trooper USA.
Controls are your typical dual-stick controls, they are very responsive, and work extremely well. To use a plasma shot, you double tap your right stick, charging the shot, and then aim with the stick, and release to fire, and regeneration of the asteroid is done by holding down on the right stick as well. This lets the game flow really well, and you really don’t need to think about what your fingers are doing while in the heat of battle.
All-n-all, Space Trooper USA is a solid dual-stick shooter that could use some options, more info on the story, and maybe another mode or two, along with an HD graphics update. Though none of this really hurts the game much, they are things which would be great additions for future updates. With the game only being $0.99, it’s well worth the purchase, as a pretty hectic high-score battle has already started on the GameCenter leaderboards. If you’re looking for an intense, dual-stick, action-arcade game, Space Trooper USA will get your heart pounding, and give you hours of great high-scoring entertainment.
I’m giving Space Trooper USA a score of 8/10.

Vertex Blaster – 0.99 (Warner Skoch)

Vertex Blaster is a new dual-stick space shooter from Warner Skoch. In it, you travel around a sphere, blasting away enemies, upgrading weapons, dropping bombs and going for a high-score. There’s 3 different game modes, each with different play styles. Arcade Mode, Meteor Shower Mode, and Survival Mode. Giving us loads of gameplay packed into this great game.

Arcade Mode, which drives you to get as many points as fast as you can, giving you more powerful weapons the more points you earn. The quicker you gain points, the better the weapon you’re given. Usually going after asteroids here helps boost your weapon quicker, giving you a bunch to shoot at in a very compact area. Two types of bombs are key here, one is a decoy bomb, and the other is a regular, drop and explode bomb. Decoy bombs leave a decoy of your ship behind, and are very useful for distracting the multitude of enemies that will be swarming you on the sphere. You’re awarded more bombs as your score progresses, regular bombs every 100,000 points, and decoy bombs every 150,000 points.
Meteor Shower Mode is a mode without enemies. You’ll just spend your time blowing up waves of asteroids, and protecting buildings on the surface of the sphere. There’s no bombs in this mode, but you do get a repair beam which helps you keep the buildings up and standing. In this mode it’s very important that you don’t hit the buildings with your weapon, or it’ll damage them, and also make sure not to hit asteroids with your repair beam, or else they will get bigger, giving you more of a problem while trying to keep your buildings safe. The last mode is Survival Mode. In this mode, you gain points by staying alive. You can’t earn extra bombs, and you don’t gain points by killing enemies. This is more of a dodging mode, waving through the swarms ofenemies coming at you, trying to stay alive. You’ve only got one life in Survival Mode, so it tends to be the hardest mode out of the three, but is also just as fun. This mode is better for little spurts of gameplay.
The graphics in Vertex Blaster are great. The game looks and plays like a retro version of Super Stardust HD. The simple graphics are presented in retina display, and the game is universal, so you’ll be able to enjoy the nice crisp graphics on your iPad as well. You can also pinch to zoom in and out of the sphere, taking you closer in, or further away from the action, which is a very nice addition to the game. The controls are spot on, and very responsive, even though the sticks don’t move, you won’t really notice while playing, because you’ll be pretty focused on the super smooth action going on in the center of the screen. The bomb buttons are placed on the right side of the screen, one above and one below your firing stick. GameCenter leaderboards are included, along with loads of achievements, making the replayability factor pretty high.
All-n-all, Vertex Blaster is a nice solid dual-stick space shooter. One that I’m very happy to have in my collection. The only complaint I have is that a couple of times, in the pause menu, I’ve accidentally hit ‘Return To Menu’ instead of ‘Resume’ causing me to loose my game. If the developer made it so that you were asked if you were sure you wanted to quit, it would fix accidents like this from happening, but I can’t really hold it against the developer because it was my own fault. It would also be nice if there were more weapons added. It is very nice not having to pick up weapon upgrades, and that they happen automatically, but it seems like a variety of weapons would be a very welcome addition to this game. Auto Pause for when you take both thumbs off of the screen would be a very nice addition as well. Lots of dual-stick shooters have this mechanic in their game, and it seems to work really well. The last thing I would like to see changed is that you’re thrown right into the action after you hit the button for whichever mode you decide to play. Having a countdown once your ship hits the sphere would be a great way to avoid some unfortunate off-the-bat deaths. Vertex Blaster is getting 4.5 out of 5 stars, and is recommended to any fan of the dual stick genre. At $0.99, it’s an awesome deal, and will definitely give gamers hours upon hours of entertainment.

Alien Space Retro-FREE(OwensGames)

Vector graphics are one of my favorite types of graphics you can see in a game.  Though I was not born anywhere near the 80’s when they were most popular I still appreciate the beautifully minimalistic design.  Alien Space combines that with a unique blend of dual stick shooters to make this a very intriguing game.
This game is actually the second iteration of another app released by the same developer except with a change of graphics. 
It is not clear what the main story of the game is but thats where you let your imagination think something up. Besides you cant just daydream about the cute girls at your high school 24/7!  The game comes packed with 30 levels and a nice survival mode.  You have the option of buying 4 new weapons and a extra game mode called Lost In Space.  The extra game mode is particuluarly interesting as there or no enemies or weapons and you have a extremely damaged ship that even the slightest collision will cause it to blow up.  You are located in the worst possible place to be with a damaged ship;a asteriod field.  Your energy is constantly depleting causing you to search through the field to find life giving crystals in order to stay alive.  
The gameplay is usually fast and frantic and perfectly fits into that 5 minutes of rest time before being bugged by a idiotic coworker. You are always on the move either blasting enemies into smithereens or dodging asteriods when escaping from your opponents.  Asteriods can be broken for credits and health so its always beneficial to try to hit them as well.  The controls are very tight and responsive and dont hinder the gameplay. A feature I especially liked was the fact that you can choose one light weapon(faster firing/light damage) and one heavy weapon(slow firing/heavy damage) before each level.  Currently there are 6 weapons with various levels of upgrades that affect the look of the weapons fire.  In the level you can then choose which one to use and switching between the two of them in mid-battle is a cinch.  Another nifty option is that you can change the games color scheme from the option menu.
Overall this is definitely a steal for only 0.99 and definitely eats up the time that you could be doing something productive with.  Next time you are looking for another quick 0.99 fix this should be on the top of your list.
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iDaTank – 1.99 (Pavel Tsarev)

It seems like there are endless dual stick shooters released each year in the AppStore. Coming across one that is original can seem like a chore sometimes, and most will pass up a game from an indie developer for a big name title from a bigger name developing company. But when many saw the screens for iDaTank,they couldn’t resist. And what they got for their curiousness was a different and original take on the dual-stick genre.
iDaTank isn’t a typical dual-stick shooter. For one, it doesn’t have dual sticks. The aiming is done by the game, a la auto-aiming at the closest enemy to the player. But Pavel Tsarev has done an amazing job creating a world that is still as dangerous as it is beautiful. In iDaTank, you play as a lone scouting drone searching different bite-sized planets for crystals that will power upteleporters leading you to the source of anunknown signal sequence. Along the way, you’ll encounter different life-forms on each cluster of planets, of which there are five. There’s also plenty of environmental hazards to make the strange 3D world seem like a maze at first. The enemies in iDaTank are extremely varied throughout the game. And once you get about half-way into it, seeing what enemies are on the next planet becomes a part of the whole gaming experience. Figuring out how to deal with the enemies and plant life of each world requires quite a bit of planning. You’re given 5differentweapons, each with different characteristics, for instance, a freeze gun, a high-powered, but slow firing weapon, grenade throwing weapon, and more. Each of the weapons are upgradeable up to 3 times using the points you get while killing the life-forms on each planet. Enemies can quickly gang up on you, especially during the boss battles that take place at the end of each cluster of planets, often leaving running away to recharge your health and try a different tactic the only option. All of this gives the game a real feeling of growth as you move through it, discovering, learning, and developing new tactics to get through each planet.
There’s also a pretty depthy RPG element to the game that’s a lot like the one in Solomon’s Keep. Kill enemies, gain experience, pick one of three upgrade choices. Each choice you make will effect how you experience the game as a whole. You can stick with picking quick movement and lots of firepower, so you can dodge most enemies, and just blast away through the whole game,or sacrifice speed for agility, and firepower for defensive upgrades. You’re also given a rank, which goes up as you kill enemies, and increases your general firepower and armor just slightly. The default controls for iDaTank are invisible, holding down and rolling your thumb on the screen to move, like there was a movement stick there. This minimalistic approach to the user interface is a theme in the game, even with the on-screen controls. You also have the option for a fixed joystick, or a floating joystick. There’s also an option to show weapon hotkeys on the right side of the screen, so that you don’t need to go into the pause menu each time you want to change a weapon. You’re also given an option to buy more lives in the pause menu, the price of which goes up after each life is bought.
Everything about iDaTank just screams professional. From the customization to the game play and graphics. If played like a dual-stick shooter, you might not enjoy it much, but if played like an adventure game with a dual-stick shooting control setup that has something new to offer, and that will grow with you as you play, you might just find a game that will stick with you for a long, long time. I give it a 5 out of 5, and consider it to be one of the best releases on the iOS of 2011. You’d be hard pressed to find another game like it. It’s one of the greatest adventures you can take on your iDevice for $1.99.