iPhone/iPod Touch Reviews Round-up
In this new weekly(ish) column, we’ll be detailing some of the titles you really need to hear about that have recently appeared upon iTunes. They may not always be the cream of the crop, or the handheld gaming equivalent of the latest Jennifer Aniston ‘rom-com’ but if it’s worth knowing, then we’ll keep you up to date.
Like side scrolling sprint ‘em up Canabalt, Monster Dash forces your little survival junkie to constantly sprint left to right. As well as simply keeping your life intact by avoiding the spikey obstacles and death inducing drops, you’re required to utilise your weaponry to blast the various meanies populating your path.
Control wise, things here are a breeze. A prod at the bottom left of the screen and your little chap will hop over oncoming gaps/spikes/beasties. A poke towards the bottom right and you’ll fire off whatever weapon you’re currently wielding. The former works wonderfully well, with different jump heights/lengths the heavier you press allowing a few deft little leaps. The randomly generated levels can infrequently induce a few moments where a seemingly perfectly timed leap can induce an early death, but since each play usually lasts less than 2 minutes, it’s an incredibly minor flaw.
The weaponry on offer is varied – with the developers already adding more in the first update – with some wicked ways to blast away at your enemies. The standard short range shotgun comes with unlimited ammo, but its tiny range makes frequent use a real no-no. Thankfully there are lots of boxes packed with additional weaponry to open up and abuse. Everything from electrical guns, through to huge hulking motorbikes, with more promised for the future.
Toss in Achievements, and an online leaderboard, and you can’t go wrong here. Offering even more than the brilliant Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack, for the incredible price of 59p, Monster Dash is an essential inclusion to your iDevice.
While Mirror’s Edge didn’t seem to claim the kind of audience its innovative first-person platforming action deserved (apart from the bloody awful combat system anyway) it’s a bit of a shock to discover that the handheld version loses this special selling point. Instead, we’re handed a fast flowing platformer in the style of the aforementioned Canabalt’s and Monster Dash’s.
A swift swipe will set Faith running in your chosen direction, with various other strokes required to get her through the game world as swiftly as possible in one piece. An upwards stroke makes her jump, and a downward nudge prompts her to slide along the floor. Timing is the real key, with the better instigating swifter animations to get over/under/around the oncoming obstacles. Not an absolute essential during the fairly short lived story, but key when it comes to the time trials, complete with online leaderboards.
There are minus points. For £2.99, the story is a little on the short side. And while the game itself usually gets the difficulty scale night on perfect, there are one or two instances that will cause you to almost toss your handheld device against the nearest brick wall. The speed runs however, allowing you to replay levels and upload your time, are a brilliant inclusion, and if EA decide to keep more coming via updates then this will raise up to be absolutely essential. Instead, it’s highly recommended, but not an absolute must buy.
There’s no denying that the little screen on your iDevice does look to be absolutely perfect for those Cave bullet hell shooters. But all that was dismissed a long time ago, with claims that these dinky little things could never pack the power for that much on screen action. Well, nobody seem to have told Cave with their second such release appearing in the guise of Don-Don-Pachi-Resurrection.
For the uninitiated, imagine playing Call of Duty with the screen literally dark with the sheer vast amount of bullets flying towards you. That’s pretty much what a Cave shooter is. Avoid the bullets using the tiny miniscule portion of screen not flooded with them, attempt to blast the buggers firing at you, and try your damndest to keep that score ticking over.
The 1:1 touch screen control makes manouvering through the sea of bullets a real treat, and using your special pieces of weaponry at the right time is the way to go to claiming the really big scores. Chuck in a good chunky number of modes to play with, good old online scoreboards, and you’ve got a real treat for any gamer out there. Just don’t come in expecting an easy ride.
Flick Kick Football
What football fan hasn’t wished they could curl in a free-kick like Beckham, Juninho, or that greased up multi-billionaire Christiano Ronaldo? None, that’s who. And now thanks to the absolutely superb Flick Kick Football you can now pretend you’re also earning a small fortune for a bit of a jog every weekend.
Essentially you have a ball which you want to knock into the goal. In between are varying numbers of defenders – and sometimes a goalkeeper – eager to stop that. So you have to use your flicking finger as your football boot, booting the ball around the defenders, and over the keeper into the goal.
It’s such a simple concept, but absolutely superb. The sense of control is absolutely unsurpassed, and the three main modes are each unique in terms of claiming a hefty score to add to the online list.
It might look like nothing to even ponder at first glance, but picking up Flick Kick Football is a sure fire way to make those work commutes pass by in minutes.
It was only a matter of time before R-Type made its way to the iDevice. It’s appeared just about everywhere else after all. Using the same touch style of control as Cave, R-Type once again reminds us that its packing some of the most stupendous level and monster design ever conjured up. That and it’s still as tough as a stale loaf.
A side scrolling shooter, you’re tasked with guiding your craft through various levels, battling basic monsters and huge hulking bosses. The touch control system (one of three included) is by far the best, and makes missing oncoming projectiles much easier than before. The addition of auto-fire too certainly helps when it comes to taking down the oncoming hordes.
Essentially this is the same old R-Type we all know, love, and have played a thousand times before. If you’re after a shooter on the move, Cave provides the best options of all. But R-Type pushes them pretty blooming close
Want your title included in this peek at what the iTunes store has to offer? Then send us an email to chrisatconsoleob.com (replacing the at with @, but you probably knew that already!) and we’ll see what we can do. Please don’t send codes in willy nilly mind. We know they’re in short supply, and we don’t want to nab something we then can’t cover.