Version Reviewed: $1.99
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Recently released from Apple purgatory, Daisy Mae's Alien Buffet is back in the App Store with all the suggestive, B-movie alien killing that anyone could ask for. The idea of the game is quite solid. Create a mishmash of genres that are proven App Store hits: dual stick shooters, anything that resembles a campy B-movie, and apps with suggestive females, and then hope for the best. Does the thought alone make for a killer app though?
Unfortunately for Daisy Mae, there have been a few games to come out in the past year that have really upped the ante in not only graphics, but also with what you can do with a dual stick shooter. The first app that comes to mind is Guerilla Bob, a dual stick shooter with *gasp* a plot and real levels. I know, I know, not every dual stick shooter needs levels.. but they are quite nice. Another app that comes to mind is the other great Chillingo shooter, Minigore. It has no real plot or level structure, but the game looks amazing and is very engaging.
I guess what I am getting at here is that Daisy Mae just doesn't have anything, other than a half naked lead character, that sets it apart from other apps in the genre. The gameplay is exactly what you would expect. You run around a fixed map, you shoot aliens that get progressively harder, collect guns that have limited ammo, and you eventually die at the hands of the enemy. There is no winning, there is only a high score.
Along with the gameplay, the graphics don't really add anything at all. The characters and aliens all look 3D, but they have an angular look that just isn't quite smooth. Unlike the purposefully blocky Guerilla Bob, Daisy Mae just looks a bit dated. With the boundaries being pushed with Daisy's clothing, I was also very surprised that there were no horrific alien deaths. When they die they just die. There is no blood or alien goop, just death.
After a few go's, I just didn't really feel that there was anything left to play for. In fact, after a while I found a control scheme that auto-fired for me, making me only have to move around and dodge aliens. While this did move the game along a bit faster, it obviously didn't really add anything to the gameplay.
It's a real shame that Chillingo's latest two dual stick shooters were so good, because a year and a half ago, Daisy Mae would've been a real hit. There's really nothing wrong with this app, but it just doesn't bring anything new and exciting to the dual stick shooter genre. If you've played Guerilla Bob and Minigore and are desperate for another dual stick shooter to sooth your nervous twitch, go ahead and pick this one up. It certainly won't disappoint, but it also won't wow you.