Developer: Marco Mazzoli
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Graphics and Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

IMG_0726I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for good-looking games. Recently, I came across another … Spirit. Spirit is a game that didn’t get much air time or pre-launch hype for that matter. It just … appeared. Resembling an art style much like Critical Thought’s geoDefense, Spirit is a tower defense title with a twist. Most tower defense titles in their genre are at this point pretty generic. They usually consist of a bunch of enemies following a pre-defined path, with your aim being to stop them in their tracks using any means necessary. Instead, Spirit’s wildly varied array of enemies choose when and were that path will be, and how they move along it.

In the game you control a vector shaped spirit with the touch of your finger. As your enemies pile into the gridded room, your aim becomes to avoid capture at all costs by dragging this little spirit around your enemies, encapsulating them. As you do, you’ll create a vortex like structure which will suck up any immediately close enemies. As with most of Spirit, the use of smooth animation makes this a kind of addicting experience. Of course, dependent on the amount of enemies you capture in the circle, you’ll earn a certain amount of points. Its important to note that you will only be able to capture your enemy or (group of enemies) if the speed of your circuit around them is fast enough. Visually, this circling of your enemies is accompanied by a stream of ghostly mist. Your speed within the room will trigger the environment to bounce at move, like elastic. Along the way you’ll meet a number of colour-coded enemies all of which will take a different path around you.

As with other tower defense titles, Spirit works off enemy waves. As you move on to defeat more waves, the games difficulty increases. Whether it be in the way of your enemies getting faster and more agile than you, or becoming elongated and twisted, as you progress through the game your enemies will become tougher to defeat. The more and more waves you manage defeat the more bonus levels you will unlock. Bonus levels are simply a frantic grab for points. In bonus levels, the game throws down hundreds of different coloured virtual chips … and against the clock, you aim to collect as many as you possibly can. The more you circuit around and manage to collect, the higher your overall total score. If you come into contract with your enemies or they touch you, you die. To re-spawn you simply tap anywhere on the screen, and you will re-spawn from where you tapped. Handy for when you’re in a sticky situation and need to get out of it!

Visually the game has an arcade modern-retro feel to it, with bright neon-like elements playing a huge part. If you’ve ever seen geoDefense, you’ll probably understand what I mean. They’re the sort of visuals you can’t really explain in full details, other than to say they look pretty damn gorgeous. The controls are extremely responsive and with the ability to tweak this responsiveness on the app’s options menu, controlling the spirit is a pleasant experience.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with Spirit. Being an avid fan of geoDefense and Spirit’s visual style resembling parts of that, the game just seemed to click with me. Controls were both fluid and responsive. I for one highly recommend you give this one a look!

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