App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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The folks at Hiker Games must have played Superhot before making FZ9: Timeshift. It's a game where everything moves in slow motion until you decide to move your character. While it's clearly not the most original idea and there are some icky free-to-play mechanics at play, FZ9 makes you feel so cool when you're playing it that those things hardly matter.
FZ9 is a first-person shooter that moves in super slow-motion until you choose to move your character using a virtual joystick on the left side of the screen. Everything else you do–including shooting, jumping, switching weapons, and throwing grenades–can happen at a snail's pace, provided you aren't moving at the same time.
Since virtual controls for mobile first-person shooters aren't always the easiest thing to deal with, the idea of slowing down the action makes a lot of sense. It also has the added benefit of allowing for crazy level designs that involve jumping between vehicles, dodging around fast-moving laser grids, and taking down multiple enemies in creative ways in seconds.
Slow motion story
There are multiple modes in FZ9, but all of them involve quite a bit of slo-mo shooting. There's the Story Mode, which is very much what you'd expect, except for the fact that it's one of the least interesting parts of the game. In my time with FZ9, I was more drawn to the Weekly Challenge and PVP Modes, mainly because of how strange they are.
The Weekly Challenge is a mode where you are presented with a unique variant on a mission and can compete for the top leaderboard position on it. These variants include things like miniaturizing enemies, giving you only grenades as weapons, or making you kill enemies with nothing but beer bottles. The PVP Mode is also quite peculiar, as it has you compete against another player to see who can complete a random level the fastest. Both of these modes put twists on FZ9's core action that keep the core action from feeling stale.
Time to pay
As cool and weird as FZ9 is, its free-to-play mechanics can really bog things down. The game boasts an energy system, which refills over time, but never quickly enough to let you power through levels at your own pace. To make matters worse, there's also a premium currency element that you must grind out (or pay for) to progress through the story and unlock all of the game's modes.
These aren't necessarily unexpected or uniquely terrible mechanics, mind you. All of FZ9's monetization strategies are actually pretty par for the course. They still aren't ideal though.
The bottom line
FZ9 makes surprisingly good use of its slow motion mechanics to make you feel awesome in a variety of situations. Though it does have some annoying (though typical) free-to-play mechanics, you likely won't be thinking too much about that while you're playing. Instead you'll be focused on how to best run across a glass floor as enemies are shooting it out beneath you, all while you're grinning from ear to ear.