Platform: iPad / iPhone / iPod Touch (reviewed on iPad)
Developer: Pub Games
Publisher: Pub Games
TL;DR: BOOM. SPACE. ‘SPLOSIONS.
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Been waiting on a decent Star Fox remake? Well, the newest game out of Australia’s indie powerhouse Pub Games isn’t quite as high-production as Nintendo’s galactic flyer, but BlastPoints certainly will give the fabled Arwing squad a run for its credits.
Powered with the Unreal Engine and a throwback to days of old, this high-flying shooter is something you’ll want on your iOS system wherever you are. Got stood up? Shoot some alien ships down. Friend forgot to set his alarm, is running late, and had the courtesy to not call you? Go shoot something amidst colorful backgrounds, bright lights, and shiny explosions. Besides being fun to shoot and navigate, the game is gorgeously simplistic with its colors. Pub Games did not skimp with its use of Unreal, and that much is evident when you go flying into space.
While there is very little story to go along with the game, the basic premise is of the typical “Ermahgerd erlierns” flying into Earth’s space. Predictably, it’s your job to fly out there, kick some ass, scribble down a couple of funny names, and claim victory. Of course, being a mobile game, this title has to be easy to pick up and put down, and it does its job well. It’s not meant to be a deeply involving game, because really, we all like to shoot things for stress relief, and then move on to other things.
Upon starting the game, you’re taken into an in-depth “simulation,” otherwise known as the obligatory tutorial. Here, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the game, and it is fairly simple to learn and get a hang of. You have standard primary weapons (focused laser, machine guns, rail guns), and a secondary weapon (bombs, mines). You also have the ability to carry an EMP charge, which will stun enemy ships within your immediate vicinity. These aliens have no utter concept of personal space, and they’re not afraid to get in your face. Save yourself some grief and use your EMP if you’re feeling crowded — it will more than likely keep you from being shot down.
I have to give extra kudos because they actually remembered those of us in the inverted Y-axis crowd. There is no bigger frustration in the world than playing a flying game and discovering that you can’t have an inverted Y-axis. Excuse me, waiter, this is a flight game. They didn’t forget that some of us are Southpaws too.
Players are given access to a wide arsenal of upgrades and equipment you can buy from the in-game store. The currency, noted as “BlastPoints,” allow you to buy bigger and better weapons, which makes it all the more fun to completely annihilate your enemies with. Who wouldn’t like a giant rail gun on the back of your ship as you fly around space destroying everything? Step back Master Chief, we got this.
When it comes to gameplay itself, it’s a fun romp through intergalactic space. Presenting the player with several options after the initial tutorials, you can choose between varying game modes and difficulty levels. Set in what can be described as a game mode roulette, the player is presented with everything from survival mode, to death match, and what can easily be described as “frantic free-for-all with a side of lethal.”
As you finish your current game, being brought back to the Mode Select stage will see the difficulty levels jumbled up. If you were hoping to play another easy round of death match, it might end up being set to “hard,” while survival might be set to “easy.” This could be counted as a minor annoyance, but it’s also a nice way to encourage varying your play styles and trying out other modes and stages within the game.
All in all, BlastPoints is a wonderful romp through intergalactic space with a smattering of bullets, explosions, and pretty little lights. Sure to captivate any gamer’s high-flying shooter attention, this game is something you’ll want on your iOS device. If the idea of flying around in space shooting things isn’t your idea of a great game, then this would be something you’d want to steer clear of. But really, you should give this one a try.
I’mma Firin’ Mah Las0rz
- Use of Unreal Engine gives it a nice aesthetic edge.
- Fun, and easy to pick up and put down like any proper mobile game should be.
- Southpaws and interverted Y-axis players aren’t forgotten at all. Cheers.
SHOOP DA WHOOP?!
- Game mode and difficulty roulette can be a little frustrating to deal with at times.
- Not the most immersive game on the planet, but then again, what were you expecting?
BlastPoints is currently available for download on the App Store.
There is no overt violence displayed of any kind, except for the fantastic exploding kind you might see in a comic book. If you think your kids can’t handle it, well then that’s your prerogative.