App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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The peerless Commander P. Jefferson is back and out for even more alien blood. Man, that guy sure hates his extraterrestrials. Anyway, this time the insanity is confined to more bite-sized chunks ideal for iOS gaming. The cross-platform game saves (iOS, Android, Facebook) and easy to jump into sessions are most certainly fantastic, but the limited daily plays and general freeminess will probably divide opinions.
Much like the original, Space Shooter Blitz is full of bullet dodging and bullet shooting. Power-ups are plentiful and death can come quickly to both players and enemies. The difference is in the pacing. Whereas before players went after bounties and steadily upgraded the USS Eradicator, now they face minute-long levels that are less about survival and more about the almighty high score. The longer one can last without taking a hit, the higher the multiplier. The higher the multiplier, the more prolific the badguys. The more prolific the badguys, the better the chance to increase the multiplier. After even a few seconds of play, provided no damage is taken, the screen will be awash with bullets and missiles.
As much as I love me some SHMUPS, I have to admit it’s nice to play one with short & sweet levels. Not that I don’t enjoy lengthy charges through enemy ranks and epic screen-filling boss battles, but sometimes I just want to jump in and jump out. Space Shooter Blitz is perfect for that. I can start up a level, rack up a score, then off a boss in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee. And if I’m not satisfied with my results or want more, I can simply play again. Tying the difficulty to the score multiplier makes each game feel a little different and encourages natural skill progression to boot.
I’ll admit I’m not too keen on having to pay for each play with special tokens, though. Sure I can earn more each day through a special lottery (yay virtual scratch-off tickets!) but what if I want to play more than that? Having special missions pop-up and having nowhere near enough remnants to pay for them is also fairly disappointing, but at least I can save up for moments like that. And goodness but I can’t stand the default control settings. Having the ship snap to where I tap can be useful, but having the entire craft nestled snugly under my finger at all times is most definitely not. Thank Frima there’s an option to turn it off.
Of course, Space Shooter Blitz is a free-to-play game, so I shouldn’t be too surprised or nonplussed about having my sessions limited. That doesn’t make it less irritating of course. Still, it’s a fun SHMUP that’s sectioned off in great little chunks ideal for a quick game or two whenever the opportunity arises.