Developer: AppMania
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

It has been said a million times before, but it seems worth reiterating that shooters seem to be a dime a dozen nowadays on the iOS.  Oddly enough, the oversaturation doesn’t seem to be giving developers any reason for pause, because they keep coming, release after release, day after day.  One such offender in the deluge of similar titles hitting recently is the AppMania developed Iron Wars.  Can a game that seems to be a copy and paste short of the rest of the marketplace still manage to survive, or is this another warzone not worth venturing into?

When it comes to shooters, there are at least some occasions where developers attempt to shoehorn in some form of a faux storyline.  Fortunately for all parties involved, this is not the case with Iron Wars, leaving players more time to concentrate on blowing their competition to kingdom come.  All you need to know is that you are a small metallic ball, navigating around a maze of destruction, searching for other artillery toting spheres to send back to their marble shaped mothers in a box.

Using the assistance of numerous weapon powerups, ammunition boxes and status boosters stashed around each stage, players can attempt to get a leg up on the competition.  The top-down, third person presentation is so far zoomed out from the action that it almost feels like cheating to spot a powerup through walls, staircases and any other environmental obstacles that are scattered across each battlefield.  That said, when you are competing against AIs, it isn’t exactly like you can expect much of a challenge to begin with.

Players will navigate their orbs using the a digital joypad in the left corner of the screen.  The one area where the game differs from many other iOS shooters is that there is no joypad on the right corner of the screen, used to aim your shot.  Instead, there is just a single button that shoots whatever weapon is equipped at the time, with the game just magically deciding who is worth focusing fire towards.  Taking control out of a player’s hands takes quite a bit of getting used to, but if everyone has to play by the same rules, it is hard to complain.

Maybe this was a move to help balance the multiplayer of Iron Wars, which has been prominently used to promote the title since its launch.  Probably the most discouraging portion of the entire game was that the online multiplayer could only be conducted between two players.  However, there are an immense number of maps at your disposal, thirty-two to be exact, which should help keep players occupied for quite some time.

While Iron Wars may not necessarily bring anything new to the table, it is certainly an amusing jaunt back into the world of iOS shooters.  It will not be breaking the mold anytime soon, but offers more than a few hours of frag tossing fun.  So hold on to your balls orbs, they will need all the protection they can get!

Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews