A Space Shooter for Free is the iOS version of the PSN Mini game A Space Shooter for Two Bucks, which cost about USD $2.00, as it says on the tin. The iOS version has been repurposed as a freemium title, offering several levels and upgrades for free, but charging money to unlock the rest of the game's levels and upgrades. This upgrade will only cost $0.99 though, and all content will be unlocked with this purchase. The game will be available as separate iPhone/iPod and iPad versions, though the content is the same between them.
The game puts players in control of Commander P. Jefferson, who can be best described as having over-the-top machismo - that pretty much describes the whole attitude of the game. It is very cartoony, and very over-the-top. Jefferson spits out one-liners in the heat of battle and has a xenophobic hatred of aliens that would make a border patrol vigilante look meek by comparison. The game is very chaotic, as bullets and enemies fly in from all over the place; even the game's second of the three levels, a pithy 3/10 difficulty rating, still is extremely difficult, being a challenge to even get from one checkpoint in the level to another.
There are a lot of objects on screen at once, from enemy ships to enemy bullets to even the point orbs that get dropped, so keeping an eye on what is what is key. Thankfully, the player has a shield that can absorb multiple hits, so damage isn't fatal, and the shield can be upgraded. The controls work by dragging the ship 1:1 across the playing field with a slight offset so the ship can be seen above the finger. Auto-fire is enabled when the finger is on the screen. The game plays identically on both platforms, though there is less finger obfuscation on the iPad version because of the device's larger screen.
A Space Shooter for Free launches this Thursday on the App Store for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. Check out screens and an exclusive trailer below.