Developer: Charlie Choi
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Set in an open and expansive 3D environment, Alien Shooter EX tasks players with mowing down a seemingly endless resurgence of advanced alien lifeforms as they’re left to suit-up and battle through the game’s 25 rigorous stages and ultimately aim to complete their mission objectives.

Originally created by the video game studio Sigma in 2003, the graphically-enhanced top-down shooter – which marks the first in the series – quickly became something of a cult classic upon its public release, later being followed by Alien Shooter Revisited, and Alien Shooter: The Experiment.

photo 4Now seeing its reincarnation thanks to indie developer Charlie Choi, Alien Shooter Ex is described as the most ambitious installment of the mobile series yet. Having spent some time playing it, I would agree that the gameplay, whilst repetitive (in parts), appears to be well structured. The title also promises even more impressive and fast-paced gameplay – and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in this regard.

Visually, Alien Shooter Ex is on par with what I’d expect to see from a console title. There’s a great amount of weapons and booster items to collect from each successful kill, while collecting coins, experience, and scavenging the land for new gear certainly makes gameplay all that more enjoyable. As for the control system, credit has to be given for the flexibility this offers. Taking advantage of two pivot joystick regions, as one would expect, the left joystick controls the characters’ movement while the right controls the direction the player is shooting in. To actually shoot, the player holds down this right joystick and swings their thumb in the direction they wish to fire. What plays in the game’s favor is that the developers have made it so that players can tap anywhere on-screen to use these controls – with the joystick regions able to move position dependent on where the player presses, which is nice.

photo 2With the positives out of the way, though, there were some aspects which I felt let the game down in its attempt to serve players with the best top-down alien shooter imaginable. For instance, there is an argument which has to be made for the on-screen character appearing a little too small in relation to the surrounding environment. This isn’t a major point, and perhaps this just falls down to my personal preference, but it was noticeable enough for me to comment on it. I’m not sure why, but the game also crashed a few times upon playing through some levels. Perhaps this is down to the graphic-intensive nature of the title? Either way, it’s again something which was noticeable, and not something I was expecting to see considering the iPhone 5s’ new graphics-handling A7 chip.

With all that said, there’s nothing stopping Alien Shooter EX from serving as the fun top-down shooter it ultimately deserves to be with a little improvement. The best part is, it’s available free on the App Store for a limited-time.


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