Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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With the wealth of imitators, copycats, and genre retreads in the App Store, it's nice to see new things like Erik Svedäng's Shot Shot Shoot, a two-player shooter designed to be played across the table from an opponent. I applaud Svedäng's for trying something new, but I think the result is a bit lacking so far.
The game is very fast and very simple. You have five squares in your color, plus a limited number of bullets. Every game consists of firing off bullets with a flick of your finger, taking aim at your enemy while taking hits in return. You can shoot the enemy's bullets, as well, but too much of that will deplete your ammo. So you shoot, they shoot, and if you hit their five targets before they hit yours, you win.
That's basically it. You must shoot quickly and accurately before your opponent does you in. It is, quite literally, shoot, shoot, shoot. It's a bit frantic and fun in the moment, but it becomes repetitive after a few games, especially against the computer AI opponents, which are very aggressive and not prone to mistakes (even on Easy). The one complication here is that ammo is limited and you must collect more from the middle of the board; but it's first-come, first-served, and a round of play goes so fast that you'll never be able to concentrate on collecting. Just cross your fingers, hope that you don't run out, and keep shooting.
I am a big fan of multiplayer gaming on the iPad, and Shot Shot Shoot is designed with multiplayer in mind. And the game does get better against another human opponent. Not only is the human player more prone to mistakes, but there's the fun in trying to watch your opponent, anticipate her shots, and exploit his errors. The social dimension does add to the experience, and it may be enough to hook some players.
One thing I did like about Shot Shot Shoot was the design. The look of the game is completely abstract, all circles and squares and simple colors, and it's accompanied by a tech-y little soundtrack that suits it well.
Simple ideas can sometimes lead to great and complex games. Here, simple ideas and simple design lead to, quite simply, a simple game. It's nice to see new ideas in the App Store, even if they don't entirely pan out. In the end, the play experience in Shot Shot Shoot is too shallow, but the promise of iPad multiplayer may be enough to draw you back for a few more games.