Developer: Cat-in-a-Box Games
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3G, iPad

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Blue Defense: Second Wave is a shining example of two things. The first is what happens when a developer has a concept for an action game built from the ground up for the platform it’s supposed to be on, and the wherewithal to make the game as good as its concept should be. The second is when a developer is able to revisit and address the issues of a game in a sequel to the point where the original feels almost antiquated by comparison. This is an action game meant for iOS, and as a sequel to the original Blue Defense, this is a massive success. The game has you trying to defend a large blue planet from invading red and green enemies that like to attack from all sides, with your only tools of survival being a neverending stream of bullets and a huge limited use enemy obliterating cannon.

The game provides a Classic mode for you to play as long as you can survive, with randomly generated enemy waves, as well as new Gauntlet and Level Select modes that have you fighting specific enemy waves if you just want to enjoy a shorter play session. The tilt controls are a great fit for the iPhone and even handle well on the iPad, and the game pausing to warn you when your device is too flat helps to make things a lot easier. The touch controls are also very functional, and provide a great way to multitask on the enemy hordes, or as an alternative to tilt controls altogether. And of course, the game is a great fit of an action game on iOS, feeling like it belongs on this platform, like it was made for this system. Whiile the game is built to support Retina displays and the iPad, the game suffers from no performance hits even on the iPhone 3G, and considering the sheer number of enemies that can be on one screen at a time, it is nothing short of a miracle.

The only problem with the controls is that they can make the game awkward to play in public, especially if you’re rotating the iPad around like a madman, and the touch controls can be kind of cramped on the iPhone when trying to fire at multiple targets. While the game handles multiple orientations in a much smoother way than the original did, the GUI is constantly set for portrait upright position no matter what relative orientation your device might be in. As well, support for a service like OpenFeint or Game Center would be great, as the game uses a proprietary high score list.

It’s just hard to come up with a list of complaints about this game, because of how well made it is. Blue Defense: Second Wave is original, intense, addictive, and most of all, fun. Fan of action games on iOS deserve to give this game a shot.


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