SurvivorX in Review – An eXtraordinary dual-stick shooter

The AppStore is teaming with dual-stick shooters of all kinds. In such a competitive market it’s quite difficult to get a sufficient foothold in the genre, especially with most titles at the rock bottom price of $0.99. Despite this ZENUXLAB have joined the ranks of indie teams reaching for the gold with the release of SurvivorX ambitiously dubbed “best dual stick arcade kill’em-all game”.

SurvivorX is quite a classic dual-stick shooter with a bit of RPG thrown in. As with most such games there is no backstory. Quite originally the developers actually seem to embrace the simplicity and waive the question of a story altogether.

On the gameplay side you have to (surprise, surprise) kill all enemies on a stage. Every 10 stages the environment changes after an epic battle with a boss. The maps are rather small and littered so the player has to watch his movements quite carefully or be forced into a corner. To bring some extra joy SurvivorX features quite thorough RPG element with 2 heroes with different skills and weapons and upgradable stats. All of this goodness is available for purchase from the in-game shop with cash earned for the dutiful elimination of the hordes of enemies. And to keep you from jumping ahead to super-duper-power-destructo both skills and weapons are unlocked for purchase only after completion of certain stages – not that you’ll have that much cash to spare anyway.

The acquired weapons and skills can be equipped in the inventory and later cycled through with a simple tap in-game. The weapon is controlled by the right-most joystick, while the skill (which has an automatic time out) is activated by a tap anywhere on the screen. The cooldown though is skill specific, so you may cycle it and use other ones while waiting. Weapons also have a recharge timer, triggered after ammo is depleted.

At the moment SurvivorX offers a commando and a mage hero to control, though new ones are promised in future updates. The characters are quite stereotypical: the mage having slower but more powerful weapons and the commando having quicker but less powerful ones. The skills in contrast are mostly defensive for the mage and attacking for the commando. Overall they provide ample opportunity for customisation (deciding on which skills/weapons/upgrades to spend the very limited cash) and should make any gamer happy.

Graphically SurvivorX is drawn in a kind of comical fashion which looks nice and refreshing. The interface features two smallish virtual analogue sticks and a few extra buttons. The most important ones are, of course, the skill and weapon switching buttons. Overall everything works reasonably well, though the analogue sticks could be a bit bigger to provide for more comfortable controls.

At the moment SurvivorX is a solid dual-stick shooter but is more of an Evolution than a REvolution. The RPG system is a nice touch and definitely makes for more interesting gameplay if you’re in the market for some mindlessfull kill-em-all action. And if the developers fulfill theit promises of updates with new content, this may be a solid shooter to keep your eyes on. For now though I could recommend it to folks who are tired from the really high-class stuff and looking for something else to entertain themselves.

With this I declare SurvivorX officially touched!

App Summary
Title: SurvivorX Developer: ZENUXLAB
Reviewed Ver: 1.31 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $1.99 App Size: 39.65MB
  • Nice comic-style graphics
  • 2 heroes with different playing styles
  • Strong RPG element
  • No backstory
  • A bit uncomfortable interface


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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