Blue Defense! in Review: Saving Earth’s Billions one Twist at a Time

No Stewie, dear God no!!

John Kooistra’s first foray into the iTunes App store, Blue Defense! plunges you into the most heroic and devastating role of all-time:  to save the Earth and the lives of its 6,730,568,430 inhabitants.

App Description:

Defend your planet!”

Blue Defense puts you in charge of protecting your world from an invasion force that wants nothing more than your utter destruction.

6.7 billion lives hang in the balance… are your hands steady enough to handle the ever-increasing pressure of the attackers?

Presentation and Gameplay

Firstly, if you are not terribly colour-blind, this game will be duck soup to figure out. You only really need to keep an eye out for red and blue.  And white.  The enemy are the red drone circles, squiggly missiles and at times, great Stewie Griffin heads that spawn more of the same.  You are Earth, the blue circle that endlessly spits out white “laser” bolts and shifts from end to end of your iPhone or iPod and at times, spends a dizzying time in the centre of the screen.  To be frank, the game looks a bit like the fertilisation of an egg.

None shall pass!!

This game is fluid.  There are no graphical hiccoughs and no stutters while the iPod thinks.  It reminds me of a nearly forgotten motto that frames per second is the king of gameplay.  It is, full stop.

Thankfully, gameplay is as straightforward as the graphics are smooth.  Blue Defense! makes excellent use of the accelerometer providing you hold your iPhone or iPod vertically.  If you accidentally flip it so that the ipod is looking up, the game will tell you to change the angle and will pause the action until you reorient it.  You rock the unit to the left or to the the right and the shots always propel themselves upward.  It is like steering a car – and killing millions of people at the same time.

Stay Standing!

At first, I was not sure of how to effectively move the turret, but it only took a few minutes of deep shoulder action, pelvic thrusts and some ducking to discover the method for success.  Elbows out.  Bite tongue.  Kill sperms.  The controls are elegant and fluidly designed.  Flawless.

Blue Defense! is paused by double-tapping the screen whereupon it gives you two options:  to quit to the high scores screen or to resume your game.  Even here, the accelerometer is put to use as the pause graphic rotates with any small change of angle.

When you exhaust your entire population (trust me, even having billions of lives won’t save you from death), you are taken to the high scores screen to see your standing.

Counting backward from 7 billion to zero

Greater Appeal

Typical games times will vary depending on your skill.  My best time is a meagre nine minutes but I have read of people securing hour-long games before exhausting the planet’s population.

My personal best is 85 million points and was scored with beginner’s luck on my first day but now, a week later I have not even come close to besting that score. Unfortunately, the scores are not global so you cannot compare your skills or lack with others.

Sound is also absent.  It would be nice to be able to either access your iTunes library whilst playing or have supplied songs to play to but the game has neither.  Fortunately, even with these omissions considered, Blue Defense! is a solid and addictive game.

Conclusion

Blue Defense! is tastefully designed and brimming with twists, turns and tongue biting.  Its polished graphics, smooth animation and habit-forming gameplay are praiseworthy, but without sound and a global scoring system it feels somewhat unfinished.  So, is it worth the 99 cents?  Absolutely.

App Summary
Title:Blue Defense!Developer:John Kooistra
Price:$0.99App Size:0.5 mb
  • Excellent fluid graphics
  • Impeccable use of accelerometer
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Challenging and addictive
  • Lacks sound
  • No global scoring system

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