iPhone App Review: Blue Attack!

iPhone App Review: Blue Attack!

February 11th, 2009 by

When old school gamers wax nostalgic about old school games, its rarely because we want to go back and play the exact same games we played back when the Atari was king.  Yars Revenge, for instance, looses its luster after about 10 years.  More often then not, we want NEW games that play like or remind us of some of the games we grew up with… except with with bright shiny graphics appropriate to our times.  If this sounds like you, then the game you are searching for is Blue Attack!

The idea of Blue Attack! is that you fly your main fighter ship with and entourage of wingmen around a large battlefield with red enemy ‘battleships’ spawning in as you progress through the level.  Your enemies are on a collision course with the big blue planet at the center of the map and its your job to destroy them before they get there.  To do this, you must blast away the outside layers of their ships composed of a myriad of geometric defenses and attack their hearts which are usually shaped like big frowny or angry faces.  Once you complete a level, you get to use the points you earn to upgrade your ship with modifiers to make your ship shoot better, fly faster, move differently or hold additional lives or bombs.

You control your fighter by tilting the iPhone either forward, backward, left, or right.  This will change the direction of flight and the amount of tilt determines acceleration.  There are 4 buttons along each side of the screen.  Some are for special weapons like bombs, others add/remove wingmen behind to your ship, and others allow you to use special power ups that help you change the direction of flight.  Your guns are set to auto-fire saving you an unnecessary button in an already crowded set of panels.  And all of these controls are setup using one of the best control configuration utilities of any game I’ve seen so far for the iPhone.  It lets you reconfigure how far you want to tilt, the threshold for the tilt dead-zone, and which buttons go where… you name it!

Visually, Blue Attack! is a deceptively simple looking game, with graphics that seem to borrow heavily from an asteroids meets the 21st century approach that has done wonders for games like Geometry Wars.  All the objects in the game are composed of bright and vibrant lines, colored according to the side they are on.  But this game really stands out because of its use of scale.  Take the enemy battleships for instance: the size and shape of these ships actually make them frightening to see when you first approach.  You will easily be intimidated as you fly around some of the largest enemies trying to find a weak spot you can blast through to most efficiently get to their hearts before they hit your planet.

In the end, I absolutely loved this game and have played it quite a few times already!  I haven’t spent $1.99 on something I’ve enjoyed this much in the App Store in quite a while, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a fun shooting game with depth, action and strategy.  Throw into the mix a fantastic tutorial, one of the best control configuration utilities around, and an art style that adds to the fun, and you’ll be recommending this game to all your friends in no time!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

  • Lasting Appeal: 4/5
  • Fun: 5/5
  • Value: 5/5
  • Graphics: 4/5
  • Audio: 4/5

Pros:

  • Fun ‘old school’ shooter
  • Easy to learn, difficult to master
  • Superb tutorial
  • Fairly fun power ups
  • Frighteningly huge bosses
  • Simple artistic approach is rich and vibrant

Cons:

  • Many on screen buttons means sometimes you’re going to miss one when you need it.
  • Unlocked levels are forgotten between games, so you’ve got to be a master if you want to unlock them all.

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