App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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The Earth is at war, apparently. Under siege by a colorful alien threat known as the Chromanoids. The mysterious "Captain" and a rag-tag trio of pilots are humanity's last line of defense. Them and a large floating battle platform of some sort. But enough back story, let's talk about blowing stuff up.
Chromanoids is an arcade shooter with a twist. The alien threat will do its best to reach (and consequently destroy) the humans' giant orbital weapon, flying in from the edges of the screen in various attack patterns and the like. Standard stuff. Shooting them down is mostly a simple matter of attempting to lead the target and firing a somewhat slow-moving projectile to where they ought to be once it blows up. Also standard stuff. Mostly. However it's also essential to make sure the ordinance matches the target; so a red ship gets a red missile, a blue a blue and so on. Things get even more complicated with the addition of secondary colors (green, orange, purple), requiring quick thinking and a base knowledge of color-mixing in order to assure the survival of the human race.
With five different game modes; each with the same basic gameplay but featuring slight variations such as a smaller blast radius for missiles or every ship being red, Chromanoids has a lot to offer. The Story mode is the best place to start as it introduces and explains the different enemy types at a steady pace, but there's no real penalty for diving into any of the other game types first. The controls are as simple as tapping the desired color or colors (if mixing), then tapping the screen to shoot at the desired location. There are, of course, some power-ups to help with the really tough bits that will do things like instantly kill virtually everything on screen or increase the blast radius of the missiles for a short period of time. Quite handy.
The only issues I have with Chromanoids are simple ones. Sometimes the screen won't register a tap correctly, which can cause problems in later stages where every second counts. It doesn't happen all the time, but there have been more than a few instances when I've failed to mix a color properly because the game didn't pick up on my tapping. Another technical issue I've noticed is that the game won't pause when a call comes through. Actually it does pause during the call, but once the call is over the game picks right back up again. It seems like an oversight to me. Finally, I'm not a fan of the use of "credits." I know I've said something similar before, and I know it's not a new concept for iOS games, but having continues tied to a virtual currency that can only be either earned incrementally through play or through an in-app purchase is kind of a drag. Of course, there's always the option to just not continue I suppose.
None of these problems keep Chromanoids from being an excellent game, though. There's something for everyone in each of the five modes. Possibly several somethings, actually. This one's a definite battery-drainer and well worth the price. Not counting the possibility of spending more money on credits, of course.