Developer: Matthew Pilcher
Price: Free
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

When I first had a look at Nightmare Kid, I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for it. It looked like another Space Invaders clone that would probably get very old, very fast. I’m not too proud to say I was a judgmental fool of the highest calibre.

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The gameplay feels familiar – as it should, since the mechanic has been utilized so many times before – but that doesn’t matter in this particular case. The ever-oncoming groups of ghouls and ghastly (in a cute way) monsters provide a challenge, but never to the point where it becomes too difficult or overly-frustrating. The coins earned can be used on power-ups, and the impact they have on the gameplay is evident. Players will really feel like they are moving forward and never like they have reached an annoying and lengthy plateau that other games often present.

Obviously there are some cons to go with the compliments. The gameplay is predictably one-dimensional, though that’s like saying that orange juice is predictably orangey. Longevity is an issue though, since there is only one level and no other modes to speak of. Players who have unlocked all of the upgrades will find little other reason to keep playing, especially since everything is repeated after the third wave of enemies. That is unless they are interested in competing with their friends via Game Center leader boards, which let’s face it, they’re not are they?

Nightmare Kid has almost perfectly captured what made the first generation of mobile games so appealing: simple gameplay, simple looks and good old-fashioned fun. It is shameless, no-nonsense casual gaming as it should be, even if it does only have so much to offer by way of longevity. Have a go, for old time’s sake.

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