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Developer: Acceleroto
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.3
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Welcome back, Occurro! This dual-stick shooter, first seen two years ago, disappeared from the App Store due to changes in iOS4 that made the game crash. Developer Acceleroto finally got their chance to make the game compatible, and it has returned to the App Store at last, along with full iOS4 and multitasking support, OpenFeint & Game Center leaderboards and achievements, along with other assorted fixes. The game features just one mode, where the player is given three lives and three bombs, and is tasked with trying to survive as long as possible.

Occurro nails the basics of the genre. The controls work well, featuring the standard dual virtual joysticks, along with a surprisingly decent tilt control method. At worst, it’s worth checking out for the achievement found for unlocking it. The game is not visually overwhelming, which means that it’s easy to tell what’s going on, unlike other games that love to throw pyrotechnics all over the place. The game also rewards staying alive by granting higher and higher multipliers the longer the player stays alive. As well, it rewards movement by way of a firing meter that recharges as the player moves; a player who is always moving will rarely if ever run out of energy to fire shots. If only most online first-person shooters implemented this mechanic to prevent camping!

Occurro unfortunately just lacks variety. There’s only one game mode to play, and while this kind of focus is almost noble in an era where most dual-stick shooters feature a ton of modes, it does mean that there’s no respite to be found within this game from other modes. There just isn’t a whole lot unique about the game in and of itself – it has fairly standard dual-stick shooter mechanics, with multiplier and weapon upgrades. There’s not much to differentiate itself as to why it’s necessarily better than other games in the genre. The enemy spawning is quite annoying, as well – a glowing light pops up, then the enemies don’t appear on the spot for a couple of seconds. This means that it’s too easy to run into enemies unexpectedly, which is just frustrating. The game does suffer from some occasional crashes still on the iPod touch 4, but the game’s resume feature works well, so I never actually lost any progress.

Occurro is not the most feature-packed dual-stick shooter, but what it does it does well enough. Don’t expect the most in-depth experience, but a solid example of the genre.

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