App Reviewed on: iPhone
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R-Type is often heralded as one of the most frustrating and irritating shoot'em up games to grace devices for over two decades. In the wake of its success, a bounty of side scrolling shooters were released, all looking to take gamers to new levels of difficulty and joy as they finally beat ever harder stages. Enforcer happens to be just one of those games to successfully make R-Type look like a walk in the park.
In Enforcer, players control a small ship flying through space. This is not a leisurely stroll, however, as enemy ships, aliens, bosses that refuse to die, and even asteroids are looking to make this walk a short one to the grave. Players can upgrade their guns from deposits left behind by dead enemies with various improvements like a powerful laser or a spreadshot. These are useful, but the only thing that will really aid anyone is a killer memory and learning gobs of enemy patterns.
While the game is mind numbingly hard, the controls add to the overall gaming pain. The virtual joystick feels slow and unresponsive, while the virtual d-pad is all too easy to hit the wrong button on and dive into a wall or enemy. This game would have benefited quite nicely from some 1:1 touch controls. It should be said that the ability to move the buttons around so they are in a more convenient location is a nice touch, but still not enough to counteract the sluggish response.
As for how the game looks and sounds, well, this is a trip back to 1992. The game is pixelated, contains only a handful of colors and animations are limited to moving up and down on the screen. The audio is much the same with bleeps, bloops and high pitched pings resonating from the speaker. The music is an 8-bit rendition of electronica, which works for the game setting but will not be something many will want to listen to for long periods of time. Retro junkies will find this game stays true to its roots and will love every minute of it.
At the end of the day, this is a decent game but not a refined experience. R-Type on iOS looks and controls much better. However, gamers that want something that will test every fiber of their reaction and memorization skills will find a great challenge hidden in this game. Those that want to tone down the difficulty will find an infinite lives setting to be just what the doctor ordered.