Town Raiders 3D in Review – no-frills dual-stick shooting

As I noted in my recent Alive 4-ever RETURNS review, the dual-stick genre is crowded. In this tough competitive market companies try to find any little thing to differentiate themselves. Embryo Project for their recent entry in the genre Town Raiders 3D have decided to concentrate on the visual side of gaming. Read on to find out if it was worth it in the end.

Town Raider 3D is a basic dual-stick shooter with you controlling a member of a barbaric tribe of raiders. You will attempt to defend yourself from the angry villagers. Set in the beautiful and peaceful (at least until you come along) town of Moai Town Raiders 3D puts you in control of a naive raider who is out to conquer this town.

Town Raiders 3D takes the core gameplay of any dual-stick survival shooter to the extreme. There is only 1 weapon, 7 powerups and 3 enemy types in 4 sizes each (small, normal, big and boss). And don’t expect to have access to the whole arsenal of powerups right at the beginning. Instead, they are unlocked as you earn score with only the most basic big shot available at the beginning. Special attention has to be paid to avoid the enemies as your raider can only survive 3 hits. And the health powerup is really a long way away – trust me.

To help in your struggle each time you advance your score by another 1000 you raider will levelup with a bonus attached to your abilities. And once you reach the score of 3000 and 5000 a new type of raider will be unlocked for your use (sniper and bazooka respectively). While all of this sounds nice the amount of time and effort required to reach even the first level-up is frustrating – be prepared to put in at least half-an-hour of concentrated gaming to do it. It comes as a relief that once you do the score is saved as a baseline for future games.

The visual side of Town Raider 3D leaves a dubious impression. On one hand the background and the environment looks great drawn in a unique pastel style. In addition this is probably the first survival shooter to offer day and night cycles to enrich the experience. The enemy models look very nice as well, done in stylized manner. My main gripe is the raider models – they and the bullets they fire look stupid. It’s also hard to spot enemies who hide behind trees. Difficult? Yes.

And here we come to the main problem. Town Raiders 3D is one of the most frustrating and difficult dual-stick shooter out there. At the same time the pace of it is so slow that it is one of the most boring ones as well. It’s almost as if the developers are hinting at shortcut. Oh wait, there is one! Instead of trying to earn the sniper and bazooka raiders for the obscene score they cost you can simply buy them through in-app purchases. After I noticed this everything immediately clicked into place – both the high difficulty and slow pace of earning the score.

Town Raiders 3D is nice looking but very frustrating dual stick shooter that suffers from poor gameplay design and an obvious nudging by the developers towards in-app purchases. Even at the cost of $0.99 I would advise to steer clear of it opting for quality titles like Minigore for the same price.

With this I declare Town Raiders 3D officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Town Raiders 3D Developer: Embryo Project
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.1 Min OS Req: 3.1.3
Price: $0.99 App Size: 35.9 MB
  • Very nice graphics
  • Day/Night cycle
  • Poor enemy variety
  • Slow game pace leads to boredom and frustration
  • High difficulty
  • Obvious nudging toward in-app purchases


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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