Developer: TAITO Corporation
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★★
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

img_03271As evidenced by some of my previous reviews, when it comes to iPhone games I’m a little bit hard to please. Most iPhone gamers have a unique case of ADD. It’s hard for us to pick up a game from start to finish and enjoy it whole heartedly. That’s not to say there aren’t great games for the iPhone but most weren’t made to pick up and play for four to five hours straight.

I didn’t have this problem with Space Invaders Infinity Gene at all. I downloaded it and played for hours. I only stopped for food which is the only thing that could stop me in my quest for immediate Space Invader domination. The food was good. Space Invaders was better.

Many classic ports like Space Invaders have failed miserably when trying to put a new spin on something so time tested. TAICO managed to take something classic gamers loved but I must admit I found a bit boring. There have been plenty of really good vertical scrolling shooters on the iPhone, such as iFighter and the classic Space Invaders, which was a pretty decent port as well. But Space Invaders Infinity Gene takes something pretty good and makes it AMAZING.

img_03321I would assume you have already played Space Invaders before, but if you haven’t it’s pretty simple. You control an enemy ship and you shoot other ships. It’s not rocket surgery. Space Invaders Infinity Gene takes this formula, flips it on it’s head, slips it some acid, beats it silly, sings songs to it, plants it in the ground and cares for it oh-so-tenderly. The graphics are amazing, you have nearly ten awesome weapons at your disposal that each have their own unique purpose, and there are a ridiculous amount of unlockables that make you want to keep playing and playing.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene was not given its’ name simply because it sounds cool (and you know it does) but because your weapons and environments will evolve as the game progresses, as will your enemies. You start off with your standard rapid shot, then gain a laser that will seek out enemies even if they are not directly in front of you, then a wave gun which fires a shockwave that spreads horizontally, then a… Actually I won’t ruin the surprise. It’s more fun to play for yourself and unlock them all on your own. The environments become more and more difficult to move around in as the game progresses. In the original iteration of Space Invaders you could move pretty much anywhere without worry, but obstacles will present themselves in this remix. The enemies will also get craftier as you move on and will find new ways of burning you to a crisp. Hordes of enemies will present themselves to you and you will have to dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge all around to avoid death.

img_0325There are plenty of iPhone games that are enjoyable the first time around but just don’t provide the same thrill the second time around but this is yet another problem Space Invaders Infinity Gene does not have to deal with. You are only given two difficulties in your first time through the game but a harder difficulty is unlockable after playing through the game once. Also adding to the replay value in Space Invaders Infinity Gene are unlockable levels. The first time through the game there are five stages to get through, each with at least four levels. As you progress you will unlock up to ten levels to get through. And they get HARD. As you die (and you will a lot) you will be given a choice of which weapon you want to use which is great. Different levels call for a different strategy and as I pointed out before, each weapon has its’ own unique purpose. Some weapons will also get rid of bogies as well as their incoming fire, clearing the way for you to zoom around. Some weapons will get rid of multiple enemies at the same time which is better for levels with crazy amounts of enemies rather then dispatching a few more powerful enemies.

But wait there’s more… I know it’s like the Price is Right showcase. You think it’s over but they keep adding more awesome stuff. A boat, a car, a grill, a new kitchen dinette set. This is FREAKING AMAZING. Not only can you play the game to your own music, but the game adapts to the song you are playing… There’s something so satisfying about dominating while listening to Wu Tang and then Dave Matthews the next second and getting a different level each time. The cool thing about this mode is that any points achieved in this mode will also contribute to your evolution so technically you could get every weapon, level, and everything else without ever setting foot in the story mode.

I could go on ALL day about how great this game is, but it would be way more exciting for you to go and buy this game right now. At $4.99, Space Invaders Infinity Gene is worth every single one of those hard earned pennies, and probably more. As of right now there are ONLY five star reviews on iTunes, and for good reason. I’m playing on my 3G and I experienced no lag, even during the most insane levels, and I’m convinced I have the slowest iPhone 3G out there. The only way this game could be better is if it would make me a pepperoni pizza which I think it tried to do at one point. This is one app that needs to be on every gamers iPhone.

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