For the 2D side-scroller fans, Frankie Pain is a little different. It follows the 2D run-and-gun gameplay formula but it puts the gamers in a 3D like environment that almost makes you think you can control your character in a 3D world. Frankie Pain is currently a free game that allows you to complete all 14 levels including boss battles without any IAP. It also offers additional weapons packs and support packs if you do get the IAPs.
Frankie Pain puts you in a futuristic looking space ship where you fight your way through decks of swarming and sentry enemies while jumping and running. Frankie Pain has topical 2D side-scrolling run-and-gun style gameplay. Armed with your best weapons, you must fight human and alien enemies as well as sentry gun installations, fighter planes. The game does a good job offering different level designs that keep the gameplay interesting and not feeling repetitive. You might even have to play certain levels a few times to explore everything in them. One very nice thing about the gameplay is that you can complete one mission at a time, but you do have to complete a mission to unlock the next one.
Frankie Pain is a free game, and without any IAP, you can play all the levels and fight all the bosses. The big difference between making through a level easily or struggle through it is the weapons, and you do need to purchase the weapons packs if you want more than the two starter guns and additional support creatures which brings supporting fire into the fight.
The touch screen controls are very responsive, however they takes a bit of time to get used. Frankie Pain offers two control schemes, one of them separates the running directions from shooting directions, and the other combines them into one. Either way, it takes some getting use to, especially aiming at the enemies. Jumping and running controls are easy enough, except in one control scheme the buttons are very close together, and you must pay full attention to make sure you are pressing the correct one. Luckily the game doesn't require lots of running, so you can take your time when moving around in most cases.
The graphics in Frankie Pain shine more than the gameplay itself. The environment looks 3D in this 2D scroller, and it's full of details. The space station like setting creates a nice background for fighting enemies with futuristic armor and weapons, and aliens and alien bosses. The artwork is excellent - both character creations and weapons designs are inventive and better than most 2D platformer games offer. The lighting effects that you rarely see in this kind of games are well done in Frankie Pain.
Frankie Pain offers sound tracks, sound FX and small amount of voice over. Sound tracks are simple and fitting, nice beats and heavy electro guitar mix. It helps the gaming experience but nothing is hugely memorable. Sound FX and voice over cover the action in the game appropriately including weapons firing sound.
If you are a 2D scroller fan and want something new and different, Frankie Pain is worth checking out. The controls take a bit of time to master, but do try both control settings and pick one that fits you the best. The game has very enjoyable environment and decent amount of enemies to bring mildly frantic action. It doesn't have a huge number of levels, but some levels might require several playthroughs to see everything. We wish there were more enemy varieties, but if you get the IAP weapon pack, you can at least get to use some very cool guns.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- Great 3D background for a 2D run-and-shoot game. Sound: -3.5- Adequate and entertaining, but forgettable after you put down the game. Controls: -4- Responsive, but the method takes a bit to get used to. Gameplay: -4- Interesting levels, some replay value, needs more levels though.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Dodge bullets before running into your enemies. -Watch for sentry guns. Some don't spring up until you are close. -Use the most powerful weapon against the boss. The boss fights aren't easy.