Developer: DotEmu
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

A confession to begin with. I’ve never played the original Earth Defense Force. I’ve got a feeling that unfortunately it never came out in Europe but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I do rather enjoy old school side scrolling shooters though. They’re ideal to switch your brain off and simply switch to primal urges to shoot anything that moves.

Earth Defense Force does this exceptionally well with developers DotEmu providing another good retro conversion after the success of Avenging Spirit. Offering two modes of play – freeplay and Arcade, there’s a variety of difficulties on offer. Freeplay is much easier to deal with, it’s ideal for just dropping in for a bit of fun. It also ably trains you ready for the Arcade mode which is much more challenging and much more demanding of your skills. It eases you in though, the first stage is a smooth introduction to the game with the difficulty ramping up swiftly afterwards. It’s immensely satisfying succeeding though and at least you don’t have to complete the game in one go. Instead, once you’ve completed a stage, you can start again from that point. There are six stages in all so genre experts won’t find this a huge game but it feels about right in length.

As you’d expect from a side scrolling shooter, there’s appropriate encouragement to complete the game numerous times in the form of new weapon unlocks. Game Center support also provides a plethora of achievements which are always quite satisfying to acquire.

Ultimately though, it’s the fun that stems from Earth Defense Force that will keep you playing, and there’s plenty of that. It’s a great little retro shooter and one that very much deserves your time and money.

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