iPhone Game Review: Alien Space
Reviewed by ninjackid
The App Store is chock full of dual stick shooters and while we've seen a lot of them that are done well, there are some that don't quite hit the mark. But the latter doesn't describe Alien Space.
"The mission: Pilot your ship into the heart of enemy space and destroy anything that gets in your way."
Let's get ready to shoot up some aliens!!
Alien Space is a arena-style survival space shooter, with a campaign mode featuring 30 levels, upgradeable weapons and stats and a survival mode. Controlling your space ship is your average dual stick shooter set up, with the left stick to move and the right stick to aim and fire, along with buttons for dropping bombs or switching weapons.
In each campaign level you choose a light weapon and a heavy weapon from a great selection of various weapons, and while your light weapons run off of energy that drains slowly as you blow your enemies to pieces, but replenishes when you're not firing, the heavy weaponry has limited ammo that can be refilled when certain enemies drop ammo. You get the Star Trek sounding weapons like tractor beams, photon torpedoes as well as your space shooter favs like blasters lasers and guided missiles. Weapons and stats can be upgraded after each level by earning credits. Credits are earned after you beat each level.
And of course there?re the alien ships. But don't be fooled into thinking that like every average dual-stick shooter there's going to be hordes of witless enemies that simply chase you and get blown away easily, because Alien Space is not your average space shooter. These enemies use the same selection of weapons that you can use against you. You'll have to outsmart them if you hope to survive.
The variety in enemies is great and different for each level. They're always using different weapons against you in each level, though they might look the same. And if the normal enemies aren't enough for you, every once in a while a larger, tougher enemy that takes a great amount of damage will appear.
Along with having enemies to destroy, you'll also have to maneuver around the asteroids. However, if you destroy the asteroids they drop pickups to replenish your Shields, health or energy for your light weapons. They sometimes even drop extra lives. So they are certainly worth the trouble. And if you die, you can always start a new game from the level you left off with the same amount of credits. Nice!
For a one-man team developer's first game, this is a huge and very impressive effort. It adds a great amount of gameplay and a great feeling of freshness which separates this from other space shooters on the App Store.
The graphics for Alien Space look great, and while they're kept simple, the lighting and special effects make them look even better. The backgrounds for each level change over time, so the maps don't get repetitive or boring.
Alien Space's sound effects are perfect, and the weapons sound effects sound exactly how space guns should sound. The epic music soundtrack not only enhances the gameplay in a good way, it also just mixes very well with the whole space theme.
Alien Space is a great addition to the dual-stick space shooter genre. While some dual-stick shooters get boring or repetitive over time, Alien Space's incredibly challenging AI and various weapons make this one of the better dual-stick shooters for the iOS. This is a must-have for fans of dual-stick or space shooters, or action games in general.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Graphics are kept simple, but still manage to look great, and work well for the game.
Sound: - 5 - Epic soundtrack, awesome sound effects.
Controls: - 5 - Standard dual-stick control set-up works very well.
Gameplay: - 5 - Fast-paced action gameplay, upgradeable stats, all make for an great addition to the genre.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Destroy as many asteroids as you can, as they drop helpful pickups
Developer: Owens Rodriguez
Release Date: Oct 16, 2010
Buy App: Alien Space
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Alien Space version 1.2 is now in the AppStore. This update brings Retina Display support as well as some minor bug fixes. Also, in the works for the next update is iPad support (Universal app) as well as some other features. After that the developer is planning to have another free update that will bring new content to the game.
MTR iPhone and iPad Game Reviews
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