Glandarius Wing Strike in Review – Another Look In The Shmup Bin


More and more, each foray into the AppStore games section is becoming a virtual equivalent to my experiences in the brick and mortar stores. You have a bunch of big name and popular games that are highlighted on either the frontpage or the easily accessible shelves of the stores. Then you have the bargain bin and back corners. Once in a while, you’ll find a hidden gem, but most of the offerings are mediocre at best. The problem is, there are tons and tons of mediocre offerings – it’s difficult to distinguish one from the other. Glandarius Wing Strike reminds me of those bargain bin games that fail to become diamonds in the rough.

I really blame iShoot for the rise of this phenomena. It was one of the first major diamond in the rough stories. The creator of this amazing game made (to use a scientific term) a butt load of money. It wasn’t the flashiest game out there; it was an idea that’s been done plenty of times, but it was well crafted and one of the first of its kind on the iDevice platform. To create a game like iShoot is the dream that many devs have since sought after and the end results are games like this.


Now, I’m not saying that Glanarius Wing Strike is a bad game that deserves to be tarred, feathered, and dragged out onto the streets. It’s actually does a decent job with the sounds and graphics. Yet, the gameplay experience itself leaves a lot to be desired.

Glandarius Wing Strike plays like a typical Vertical Scrolling SHMUP. Your craft (I assume it is a Glandarius Wing) resides on the bottom of the screen. You can only go left and right on the X-Axis. Meanwhile, your enemies appear at the top of the screen. They move in a variety of patterns and shoot bullets your way. To survive, you must dodge the bullets, destroy you enemies, and defeat the level boss at the end. This game takes you through all of 5 worlds, each world has some similar enemies and some specific to their locale.


While these are standard in most SHMUPs like this game, Glandarius Wing Strike boasts a control scheme that is unique.

On the iTunes page:

= Original interface suitable for iPhone /iPod touch
With just one finger, you can do everything: movements, attacks, lock on and emitting lasers. That would be novel game experience unique to iPhone.

Engrish aside, what may seem to be a great control scheme on paper (or at least the attempt at a great control scheme) fails to deliver the novel game experience promised by the developers. It is true you can control everything with one finger. The problem is with the many annoyances that come along with it.

Your left and right movements are done by touching the screen, holding down, and swiping left and right. You can also touch to the left and right to make your Glandarius Wing quickly move in those respective directions. Unfortunately, you can only shot when tapping the screen. This means that you find yourself constantly tapping the screen in various directions to shoot and dodge in order to stay alive. You will miss most of the enemies and find yourself frustrated all at once.


Another failing of this game is the lack of power-ups. I am a sucker for power-ups. They make a static gaming experiences like a scrolling SHMUP exciting and surprising. Think about it. One of the classic SHMUPs of all time, Contra, is well known for its iconic powerups. They vault a decent game into one of the most cherished childhood gaming memories of all time. Glandarius Wing Strike has absolutely no powerups. There are no extra lives, no bombs, no satellite planes that encircle your own, no weapons upgrades… nothing. You are stuck with your machine guns, and lasers that lock onto your opponents and both of these weapons seem uninspired and do nothing to enhance the gameplay experience.

On the plus side, this game does boast a variety of hi-score screens. There also one to see the global hi-scores. This does help in giving a player an incentive to play, but in my opinion, it isn’t much incentive.

review-game-glendarius-pic5 review-game-glendarius-pic6

Given its price, the fact that there are better SHMUPs out there, and the lackluster quality of this one I do not recommend Glandarius Wing Strike. The addition of an easy and hard mode seems a feeble attempt to enhance the gameplay experience.


App Summary
Title: Glandarius Wing Strike (V 1.3) Developer: AQ Interactive
Price: $4.99 App Size: 57.8 MB
  • Good Visuals and Sounds
  • Leaderboards
  • Variable Difficulty Settings
  • Monotone Gameplay Experience
  • No Power-Ups
  • Too Pricey


Next ArticleStar Defense - Tower Defence's True 3rd Dimension