Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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In order for any arcade shooter to stand out among the plethora of shooters found in the App Store, it needs to either execute extremely well on the basic shooter mechanics or present a unique mechanic to set it apart from other shooters. Sometimes there is a rare shooter that can accomplish both in an equally successful fashion. More often than not, though, a developer gets a bit too ambitious and both the game's basic and unique mechanics suffer in the long run. Unfortunately, the later is the case for Gods of Nibiru.
Gods of Nibiru is certainly a competent side-scrolling shooter in its own right. The gameplay is standard for the genre with one thumb controlling the position of a space ship moving from left to right. The second thumb is then used to direct certain weapons, much in the way one would direct weapon fire in a twin-stick shooter. This genre mash-up has lots of potential but it seems like the developers stopped just short of really integrating the two into a cohesive experience. The result is a fun game that suffers at times from a split personality.
One of the main attractions of the game is the ability to unlock what seems to be endless levels of defensive and offensive upgrades that will protect and strengthen the player's ship. Some of these are passive abilities while others must be activated with a tap. The weapons vary from focused weapons with pinpoint accuracy to wide scatter shot weapons. Unfortunately, none of the weapons really take full advantage of the game's unique inclusion of the twin-stick aiming and often players must bounce back and forth between the control schemes of multiple weapons unable to ever really use them effectively in tandem.
The art is well done, yet it lacks some polish. The enemies can be a bit bland, but the game's bosses make up for that blandness. They are big and challenging, and they stick out as the high points of Gods of Nibiru. It's fun to unlock the ship upgrades, but there are so many options that it's like eating at a restaurant with a hundred items on the menu. The food may be great, but deciding what to get can be a real chore.