Roswell Fighter in Review – Fighting aliens 50’s style!

Aliens are coming and the only one who can stop is you! Using your trusty World War 2 airplane upgraded with salvaged tech it’s time to take down the baddies! And may the spirit of Rock and Roll guide you in the struggle against the invaders in Roswell Fighter.

Roswell Fighter is a classic vertical shooter, very close to the guidelines set by the arcade machines. You’re put in charge of piloting a plane which, despite the looks, has everything, from the good old machine gun to a mega-destruction lightning weapon. You pick up power-ups and try to avoid or destroy the enemies – pretty tried and true formula.

As I noted above, the Roswell Fighter gameplay doesn’t step half-an-inch from the classic arcade gameplay. You can survive 3 hits and have 3 lives, though all of the powerups you gain will be reset on your destruction. Powerups go through a standard upgrade path: vertical->more powerful vertical-> spread-> etc. Every once in a while you will find a powerup that will call additional wingmen to your support, effectively tripling firepower, though the buggers retire far too quickly. To help you can collect stars left by dead enemies. These power the mega-weapon, which is a stream of energy that decimates everything in its path until it runs out. And as a last resort, nukes can be activated by shaking the iPhone.

The enemies vary in appearance and movement patterns and levels end with huge bosses that an incredible amount of skill and patience to kill. The environment itself is also littered by destructible objects, some of which can kill you if bumped into and others simply provide some extra score and satisfaction.

One of the more frustrating aspects of Roswell Fighter, obviously inspired by arcades, is the incredibly high difficulty. Even at easy I found myself being frequently killed and having to replay the level over again. The amount of upgrades and simple power-ups is way too low for comfortable play, especially since they are reset after death.

Another aspect that I found lacking is the interface. The game offers 2 control modes – touch and tilt. There’s little to say about the tilt – it works as expected, but the levels often require quite precise movement to get through mines and avoid collisions, which is obviously difficult whilst tilting. The touch controls are even worse – the plane is actually positioned a couple of centimeters (about ¾ of an inch) above the place where you are prompted to touch for control. This makes for very confusing controls and many collisions.

The aspect where Roswell fighter shines is obviously graphics and music. The 50’s style is adhered to with precision and detail from in-game menus to in-game music and comments. The graphics are detailed and colourful, plunging you in the fray with a light-hearted atmosphere of surrealism. All of this comes at the cost of performance though and considerable lags are noticeable on the iPhone 3G.

Roswell Fighter follows the classic arcade guidelines with care and precision wrapped in a beautiful 50’s style package. Unfortunately the enormous difficulty level , poor controls and performance issues make it a choice for only the most die-hard shooter fan equipped with the latest gen of Apple products. Casual players should steer away with a range of more comfortable shooters available in the AppStore.

With this I declare Roswell Fighter officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Roswell Fighter Developer: GameLab Innovation Center
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $0.99 App Size: 56.0 MB
  • Great visuals and music stylized for the 50’s
  • Classic gameplay
  • Very high difficulty
  • Poor controls
  • Performance issues on the older devices


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A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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