TouchMyApps » SHMUP http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:45:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Underground in Review – The SHMUP! You’ve Been Looking For http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/18/underground-in-review-the-shmup-youve-been-looking-for/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/09/18/underground-in-review-the-shmup-youve-been-looking-for/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2009 22:32:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=20174 I’ve said quite often in the past that when it comes to games for the iPlatform, my favorites are almost always the “pick up and play” style games. They are usually the easiest to learn and the most addictive. Outside of gaming, one of my longest passions is graffiti art. Up until a little over … Read more]]>

underground-review1I’ve said quite often in the past that when it comes to games for the iPlatform, my favorites are almost always the “pick up and play” style games. They are usually the easiest to learn and the most addictive. Outside of gaming, one of my longest passions is graffiti art. Up until a little over a month ago, I would have never expected those worlds to collide. Thanks to the powerhouse team of Chillingo and Kinelco and their latest App Store title Underground, I couldn’t be happier.

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Game Description:

Take a journey with a graffiti artist through the underground transport system as you battle through his inner demons on a mission to rectify a previous art crime. Fight your way through a series of street art inspired levels and lift the curse that haunts their every move. Unfold the story as you stop at each beautifully 3d rendered station and get closer to the truth behind the myth. Classic 2d side scrolling shoot em up gameplay takes you between the stations and represents the thoughts and anxieties of our cursed artist as they make their way to their final destination.

First off, for those who are wondering what SHMUP stands for, it’s ‘Shoot Em Up’. Underground is essentially your typical 2D side scrolling shooter, though with a very neat (and well done) graffiti twist. You start the game inside a train car with a graffiti artist making his way through the train system. As you pull into each station, you get a little glimpse into his mind. The real action however is once you leave the station.

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As you make your way down the side of the train, you are treated to some amazing graffiti courtesy of accomplished artist Frames. Don’t admire it too long though, flying into any of the background pieces will destroy your ship. As you are piloting your way around those, you also have to contend with a random assortment of objects and characters bouncing, flying and shooting at you, trying to take you down. Along the way, you’ll encounter everything from little men to dogs  and even rocket chickens (seriously!). All of these amazing pieces of annoying, attacking art are well done and add to the overall graffiti theme of Underground.

underground-review4You have 2 ways to control your ship. The default method makes use of the built in accelerometer and tilting your iDevice will control it’s flight path. The second method, is to tap anywhere on the screen and drag your finger to move the ship around. Both methods work great, though I do prefer using the touch screen method whenever I have the opportunity to do so.

Shooting is done automatically and constantly during the game. What you can control however is the direction of the shots. To control the firing, you simply tap the screen with a second finger and move it around to manipulate the direction of your shots. If you prefer, there is also the option to invert the firing method, meaning you touch the opposite side of where you want to fire (e.g. if you want to shoot up and left, you touch and drag down and to the right).

underground-review5As you kill some of the creatures and art work coming at you, they die with a flash of a graffiti tag and fade out, occasionally leaving specialty items and power up spray caps behind. Collecting these will get you different guns, bonus lives and more. A simple feature that is pretty much a staple in this genre, I was really happy to see that the developers took the time to use a style of spray paint cap that anyone knowledgeable of graffiti art will recognize.

underground-review6As with most side scrollers, you end the level in a battle with a “boss”. It begins with one boss on the first level and progresses to multiple bosses who are faster and more powerful. To give you an idea, it was a massive head in a spaceship creature that was both amusing to look at and annoying as hell to kill as the levels progressed.

Underground was really quite impressive and Chillingo really outdid themselves this time. Taking the graffiti culture and wrapping it around a 2D shooter without making it look tacky or seem like a gimmick to sell more units (I’m looking at you Mark Ecko) is no easy feat. With the stunning visuals and addictive gameplay, this title is a perfect time waster and I would recommend this SHMUP to anyone who is as big a fan of casual games as I am.

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App Summary
Title: Underground (v1.0) Developer: Published by Chillingo. Developed by Kinelco
Price: $3.99 App Size: 21.1 MB
  • Amazing custom artwork
  • Classic 2D side-scrolling
  • Multi-directional shot controls
  • 11 different weapons
  • In game music a bit too repetitive
  • No online interaction

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Chillingo’s Underground shooter set to debut at the App Store http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/08/28/chillingos-underground-shooter-set-to-debut-at-the-app-store/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/08/28/chillingos-underground-shooter-set-to-debut-at-the-app-store/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2009 14:35:22 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=18998 Back in June, we had posted some info about Chillingo‘s upcoming Underground, a title described as a ‘a horror/graffiti themed side scrolling shoot em up’ (aka shmup). Well Chillingo has sent us word that their latest App Store offering has just been submitted and should be available for all iDevices shortly. Developed by Kinelco, Underground … Read more]]>

Back in June, we had posted some info about Chillingo‘s upcoming Underground, a title described as a ‘a horror/graffiti themed side scrolling shoot em up’ (aka shmup). Well Chillingo has sent us word that their latest App Store offering has just been submitted and should be available for all iDevices shortly. Developed by Kinelco, Underground is easily the most stylish and dressed up shooter for the iPhone, even featuring graffiti artwork by renowned street artist Mr Frames and original Hip Hop music score composed by Pp3d, which  fuses dark beats and hip hop to compliment the look ‘n feel of Underground.

Take a journey with a graffiti artist through the underground transport system as they battle through their inner demons on a mission to rectify a previous art crime. Fight your way through a series of street art inspired levels and lift the curse that seems to haunt their every move. Unfold the story as you stop at each beautifully 3D rendered station and get closer to the truth behind the myth. Classic 2d side scrolling shoot em up gameplay takes you on a trip through the thoughts and anxieties of our cursed artist as they make their way to their final destination.

From the new gameplay footage, it seems as though Chillingo has a very promising and unique shooter on their hands and one that should please fans of the genre. Keep an eye out for our review as SteveNaka will be giving Underground the full-on treatment. More screenshots and details after the jump.

Features include…

  • Classic 2D side scrolling SHMUP
  • Uses the iPhone and iPod touch’s tilt and multi touch controls
  • Over 60 different enemies with a vast range of behaviours
  • 11 different weapons
  • 3 levels of difficulty over 12 levels
  • Power-ups include shield and slow motion “Bullet Time”
  • Story mode with realtime 3d cut scenes
  • Shoot in any direction simply by touching the screen
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SHMUP Underground Coming Soon from Chillingo http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/13/shmup-underground-coming-soon-from-chillingo/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/13/shmup-underground-coming-soon-from-chillingo/#comments Sat, 13 Jun 2009 17:49:00 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=13063 Chillingo aim to bring a new SHMUP to the App store whose central theme is street-art as fought along the underground. Yes, you heard correctly, ‘fought along the underground’. Underground’s art is the work of Mr Frames of BBC, MTV and the Royal Academy of Arts fame and will probably forge ahead a new genre … Read more]]>

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Chillingo aim to bring a new SHMUP to the App store whose central theme is street-art as fought along the underground. Yes, you heard correctly, ‘fought along the underground’. Underground’s art is the work of Mr Frames of BBC, MTV and the Royal Academy of Arts fame and will probably forge ahead a new genre of game in the App Store: Horror/SHMUP.

Below is the press release from Chillingo:

Take a journey with a graffiti artist through the underground transport system as they battle through their inner demons on a mission to rectify a previous art crime. Fight your way through a series of street art inspired levels and lift the curse that seems to haunt their every move. Unfold the story as you stop at each beautifully 3D rendered station and get closer to the truth behind the myth. Classic 2d side scrolling shoot em up gameplay takes you on a trip through the thoughts and anxieties of our cursed artist as they make their way to their final destination.

For the iPhone and iPod touch – Underground is a horror/graffiti themed side scrolling shoot em up.

Features include…
· Graffiti artwork by renowned street artist Mr Frames, whose previous commissions include MTV, BBC and Royal Academy of Arts.
· Classic 2D side scrolling SHMUP
· Uses the iPhone and iPod touch’s tilt and multi touch controls
· Over 60 different enemies with a vast range of behaviours
· 11 different weapons
· 3 levels of difficulty over 12 levels
· Power-ups include shield and slow motion “Bullet Time”
· Story mode with realtime 3d cut scenes
· Shoot in any direction simply by touching the screen

Underground also includes an original Hip Hop music score composed by Pp3d which fuses dark beats and hip hop to compliment and enhance Underground as a gaming experience.

Check Below for other Chillingo Games at TMA:
Return to Mysterious Island, Toki Tori, Toki Tori Lite, Defender Chronicles, Knights Onrush, Glide Factor, Vampire Origins, Flip Disc, The Quest, Dungeon and Hero, Zen Bound, iDracula, Orions: Legends of Wizards, Krypton Egg, Vector Tanks, Flatland Unbound, Bike or Die 2, Sneezies, iPingPong 3D, HiConverter
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Glandarius Wing Strike in Review – Another Look In The Shmup Bin http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/09/glandarius-wing-strike-in-review-another-look-in-the-shmup-bin/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/09/glandarius-wing-strike-in-review-another-look-in-the-shmup-bin/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2009 11:36:25 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=12696 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 … Read more]]>

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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