Price: Free, with $0.99 In-App Purchase to Remove Ads
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3G, iPad
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Backflip Studios have taken this summer to experiment with the freemium model for their games – offering them for free download with $0.99 in-app purchases to remove banner ads. Their final summer release in this series of freemium games is Buganoids. The game is inspired, visually and gameplay-wise, by 1980s arcade games, by having you running around a circular planet shooting at bug enemies that spawn from the center of the planet. This means that you have to get used to running around the planet to get to where you can get a proper shot off, and to try to keep enemies from getting to the planet’s surface where they can charge at you and take you down.
Buganoids is quite fun, and nails the retro arcade experience perfectly. Maybe the best thing that can be said about Buganoids is how authentic it feels – if this game was released 25-30 years ago, there would be games we’d be playing today that were influenced by this. It nails all of the other conventions – powerups, bonus enemies, the 8-bit graphics. While Buganoids is not a universal app, the game does come in iPhone and iPad flavors, and syncs up your high scores between both versions via OpenFeint.
Buganoids suffers from the same problem that most games in a circular playing field do: aiming is a pain. Angles are difficult to figure out, and it can be a pain to figure out the aiming line on a moving enemy. It’s part of why games with circular playing fields never really took off – it’s hard to escape that awkward feeling of firing on a circular playing field. It’s part of why Galaga is much beloved to this day, and a game like Gyruss is far less remembered. Circular playing fields just aren’t as natural, and that awkwardness does permeate through Buganoids at times. As well, due to the game being split into two separate versions, you have to pay to remove ads on both your iPad and iPhone/iPod touch separately.
Buganoids, much like the other freemium Backflip releases this summer, is well worth a download, and it isn’t a huge fee to remove the ads. Pick up Buganoids if you like 80′s arcade games, and want to play something that feels like it was recently dug out of a box somewhere and ported to iOS.
Tagged with: Backflip Studios, Buganoids, Buganoids HD, free, in app purchase, iPad, iphone