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iPhone Game Review: Independence
      02/24/10 01:36 PM

iPhone Game Review: Independence
Reviewed by JadeDragon

Independence is a shoot 'em up fly-shooter game that plays in landscape mode using either the touch screen or gesture as control. The game has a decent amount of gameplay with 18 levels of fast pace fighting against both battleships and ground attacks. Like most fly shooter games, Independence has a simple background story: cities across the world are wrapped in flames by the Syrian fleet invasion, and it?s now up to the Independence Team to defeat the advancing battleships and save the cities.

Gameplay

Independence has 18 levels grouped into 3 episodes, and there is a boss fight at the end of each episode. Levels aren?t very long, and boss fights aren?t that tough either. In fact there are 3 difficulty levels, and a veteran shoot ?em up gamer can go straight to the most difficult setting and beat the game. Independence plays only in landscape mode with your ship set to auto fire. There isn?t any ship selection or wingman upgrade in the game. There are however firepower upgrades and you are given total of 4 bombs which fires an incredibly powerful beam when activated and will destroy anything in its path.



The enemy selection seems a little limited, but each enemy unit has its unique moving pattern and weapons. These enemies possess weapons that shoot straight canons, heat-seeking missiles, energy beams that can trace your ship for a while; and the bosses have even more types of weapons in their arsenal greater in both power and number. So even though you don?t see a lot of types of enemies you won?t exactly miss them much either. When you kill enemy units, they drop coins that you can collect. If you can collect them in a chain you get high score bonus. The game offers a local high score ranking.

Independence has two control methods: touch screen control and gesture control. The game utilizes a Gyro engine that allows you to tilt the iDevice to move your flyer, but the touch screen control is much more responsive and precise. And you will need that responsive control and the precision in those levels populated with space mines that leave you with very small spaces to navigate through. The Gyro control responses to your device movement slowly, and even in the less hectic levels this control scheme won?t cut it. The touch screen control is also relative, which means you can move the ship by dragging on any part of the screen, not just on top of the ship.



Graphics & Sound

Independence has stylish and sharp graphics. The game offers terrains that have different styles and unique looks: a destroyed industrial city, the ocean, the space, etc., but the graphics shine in the enemy unit design. Different enemy unit has its own look, some more robotic others more organic, and some larger units, like the bosses, have bodies that combine organic limps or wings with mecha parts. Weapons also have a good variety and nice designs.

Independence has both background music and sound FX, both with a limited selection. You can turn on and off the music and sound FX or adjust the volume in the Options menu.

Conclusion

For the shoot ?em up fans, Independence will offer a fun ride with a good number of levels and interesting enemy units with some intriguing weapons. The touch screen control works reasonably well, but the Gyro control is too slow to be effective. The graphics are sharp and eye-catching.

The game has a limited selection of music and sound and it doesn?t offer any iPod music option either. It offers only a local scoreboard.



Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 4.5 - Terrains look good but not that breathtaking, but the enemy unit design is great.
Sound: - 2.5 - Very limited selection.
Controls: - 4 - The touch screen control works well but the gesture control doesn?t.
Gameplay: - 4 - Not a long game but a fun ride nonetheless.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- To earn high score, try to collect the coins continuously to form chains.

- In even the most difficult level, you will hardly need the bomb for regular levels. So save all of them for the boss fights.

App Facts:
Developer: Nate Games
Release Date: Dec 21, 2009
Price: $2.99
Buy App: iTunes App Store

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