Quality space-sims are far and few between even on the PC, especially if we’re talking about the open-world variety. There is the classic Elite, Origin’s Privateer series and the fantastic X-series. That’s about it. Of course one might say it’s a bit of a niche genre, but I say – to hell with that, it’s just so much fun! So after spending a considerable amount of time with FISHLABS’ sequel Galaxy on Fire 2, I can attest that we finally have a worthy entry in the genre on the iDevice.
The genre of dual-stick shooters is so crowded at this point that to even be noticed, a game must really make itself stand out. Developers attempt various ways of doing so, trying different themes, gameplay features and bonuses. Those over at Blue Shadow Games have really gone all out with this regard and actually bundled 3 different games under one title that is DEATH COP – Mechanical Unit.
Call of Duty: Zombies (previously known as Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies) was a surprise release back in late autumn 2009. To all of you not in the know, CoD Zombies is the hidden gameplay mode of the full-scale Call of Duty: World at War, where you have to hold of wave after wave of zombies coming at your bunker. I very much enjoyed the game, as I pointed out in my review:
In short, Activision threw in the pot the simple and addictive gameplay, lots of weapons, great graphics and performance, excellent controls that will satisfy all tastes, topped it with multiplayer, online leaderboards and achievements and have essentially cooked up a masterpiece. Using the tilt controls, twisting my iPhone left and right and frantically avoiding the zombies was probably the most fun I’ve had with an iPhone game for a long time. The only downer is the $9.99 price tag, but the game is more than worth it.
I’m not a big fan of first person shooters, but I do like the occasional action game, so options like the Time Crisis series fit the bill nicely. The iDevice is the perfect portable platform for such games as well, since the touch screen does a decent job of simulating the light gun control. FPS purists will most likely cringe at this game since they don’t get the control they think they need, but for people like me who need a bit more structured chaos, TIME CRISIS 2ND STRIKE works perfectly.
With so many dual-stick shooters out there it’s more and more difficult for a newbie to get spotted. Some developers stake on marketing, others on features, while some simply hope for the best and send their creation off to follow fate’s will. Which one is Creatures – THE FIRST BLOOD from playus soft, one of the most recent additions to the genre?
Talk a out a walk on the old school side. After toggling R TYPE’s icon, I was treated to the most embarrassing flashbacks of bad hairdo’s, rebellious clothes, and Kurt Cobain’s whiny trill. Yep, back when R TYPE was en rage on the SNES, I was a very dedicated teenager. I also happened to sneak my way into friends’ houses to blow things up on screen since I just didn’t have a SNES. Thanks to Electronic Arts, however, R TYPE, the virtual time machine, is hot in the hands of wanna-be teenagers the world over!
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”.
Open-world space shooting/trading games have not had much of a track record on the iDevice. On the upside there are the excellent Warpgate (TMA Review) and Space Miner: Space Ore Bust (TMA Review), though the former can’t really be called a space shooter and the latter isn’t quite open world. The title that could most closely fit the bill is Flatspace (TMA Review) but the poor interface pushes the game under. And now Sad Cat Software, authors of the highly acclaimed Project Phoenix (TMA Review) have released Ultraviolet Dawn to claim the genre for their own. Can they succeed?
From Foursaken Media comes N.Y. Zombies, another 3D over the shoulder zombie killing fest. This one takes more of the Zombieland approach to storytelling and game play, where a strange something is turning everyone into zombies and you set out to discover what’s going on. I like the fact that even though you play the game from a fixed position you still progress through different areas so it feels like the situation is always changing. I’m not very good at this type of game, so the 360 degree playing field can be a bit much for me at times, but overall this is quite an enjoyable romp and further cements my desires to be a zombie slayer when I grow up (just kidding, because zombies were people once too, you know).
Ahoy, landlubbers! In the game for some booty? Me and some fellow gentlemen o’ fortune found this ole treasure map lying around and are planning to go hunting for it! And a couple of me hearties – Guerrilla Bob and John Gore – have recommended you as a reliable mate to accompany us. Beware, though, some lily-livered sprogs say there’s a curse be placed on said booty. But those child’s tales are not going to stop such swashbuckling buccaneers like us, right? Arrrgh!