Developer: Funkoi Co. LTD.
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Alpha Zero is a 2.5D side scrolling shooter with great graphics based in outer space. It’s not a very novel premise for a game, but the visual assets and many upgradeable weapons available make it stand out.

Although the basic idea for Alpha Zero is definitely not unique, unlike many other side scrolling shooters the player is not only relegated to the left or bottom of the screen. Rather, it is many times necessary to move to all different sides of the screen. The only complaint I have with the view of the game is that I often wanted the screen to zoom out to allow for enemies to be on screen longer.

One great feature of this game is that there are multiple options for movement. By default, tapping and dragging the ship do movement, and tapping with the other hand fires whichever ammo is selected. However, players can choose different movement control schemes, like dual stick, a hybrid method, or “first move”, in which the first finger to tap controls the movement and the second controls the firing. I was really happy to see a lot of choices for controls since I wasn’t a big fan of the default option.

Throughout the gameplay players collect orbs, which can be used to upgrade the ship. Items available for purchase range from different types of ammo, homing missiles, bombs, ship armor, and even different ships. Many of the items can be upgraded, so there’s a lot of room for purchasing. Unlike many other games, I didn’t find it too difficult to collect enough orbs to buy a few item, but some of the more expensive items will definitely take some work to get.

It’s possible to select from one of three difficulties, but each harder difficulty level has to be purchased. Alpha Zero has multiple campaigns, and one more is on the way.

The graphics are gorgeous and there are many different types of ships. The soundtrack is also top notch. There are some pretty epic bosses that require a lot of work to defeat. The bosses are unique and have different aspects and weaknesses, and aren’t all the same.

Overall, Alpha Zero is a solid side scrolling shooter. It looks great and has enough content to justify buying it. It’s not the first or only game in this genre, but it is one of the better ones.

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