Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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There are lots of iOS games in the vein of Geometry Wars and Tilt to Live. Most of these are mindless clones or re-skins that don't offer much variation on the avoid and survive gameplay. Adding insult to injury, most of these games also suffer from horribly inadequate controls. Fine control being a key element in these type of games, missing it is a significant handicap. There are, however, a few games here and there that take the genre in an interesting new direction. Fireball SE, while fairly derivative of it's predecessors, certainly falls into the category of "imitation as the highest form of flattery" instead of "imitation as lack of innovation."
Fireball SE follows the same basic principles of other avoid and survive games. While it can't really be considered a twin-stick shooter it does have much in common with that type of game. Players guide their fireball around a defined area avoiding swarms of enemies that appear on screen in waves and try to survive for as long as possible. To clear these enemies from the screen and score points, players must detonate randomly appearing bombs by touching them with their fireball. The mechanic of touching weapon drops to fire them off is common in the genre. However, Fireball SE also give players the option to set the bombs to explode on a slight delay instead of immediately by moving very close to them without touching them. This mechanic brings a whole new level of finesse and strategy to the game that pays out huge dividends in combos and score when mastered.
The controls here are absolutely spot on and among the best virtual joystick controls players are liable to find in any iOS game. These super fine controls give players a supreme handle on their fireball as they weave it between enemies. The game also gives players the power to slow down time with a meter that fills up with collected items dropped from destroyed enemies. This gives players a last ditch option when things get really hectic and helps prolong the game for more fun.
Fireball SE includes several different modes, each entertaining and challenging in its own unique way. The awesome controls and the polished visuals round this game out very nicely and make it one that players who enjoy challenging action won't want to miss.