|Platforms:||iPhone, iPod touch|
|Release Date:||Jul 31, 2008|
I recently talked about how iPhone game developers should play to its strengths, rather than trying to force specific game genres onto the iPhone kicking and screaming. It’s great to see the first flight sim to hit the App Store, StarSmasher, created by John Bowers of Espressosoft.
From the playability standpoint the game is extremely easy to learn and play, I shared this game with a few of my co-workers to try and play to get their initial impressions, and all have been positive.
One of the skeptics, an older gentleman in his 50s was totally against games and thought they were silly. I let him take a test drive on StarSmasher, even before he got his hands on the iPhone, he was complaining that he didn’t know the controls and he hates memorizing buttons.
Soon after the first 10 seconds of play, he figured out how to control the plane and how to shoot. The game is to say the least, surprisingly intuitive to play for anyone, not just us gamers. It was great to see his face light up with laughter, he was having a great time.
The game is a lot like Star Fox in the way the flight works, the flight isn’t free-flight, it’s flight on rails. To fire your guns you simply tap the screen, now it does become a bit cumbersome to tap for each laser shot, but according to John Bowers development blog he is well aware of this issue and is implementing a more gamer friendly firing mode, auto-fire, which will fire 4 shots every second.
There is multiplayer obstacles and adversaries to contend with throughout the game.
- Mine Layers – They lay ummmm mines? Yea I’m going to stop writing this description now…
- Enemy Fighters – They fly towards you and fire lasers, to avoid them always stay on the move.
- Astroids – They don’t hurt you if you collide with them, but it’s fun to shoot them, dodge them if you think it makes you look cool, lol. Dodge them if you value your life…
The game is one continuous level and your goal is to survive as long as possible while racking up the most points. The game isn’t a full featured title and it was never meant to be, the developer simply wanted to create a game he would enjoy playing himself. The pricing for the game of $2.99 is reasonable for the entertainment the game provides. iPhone gaming is definitely moving in the right direction.
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