Developer: Sprocketwire, Inc.
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

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Strange Matter is a unique game that takes place in the future, on a space station under attack by a “strange energy substance.” The objective is to clear out the enemy units while attempting to retrieve the hidden codes in each level. While the gameplay is fun and challenging, the game, unfortunately, lacks any real depth.

Players command their ship by tilting their device to navigate, and tapping on buttons to activate the shield and fire their weapon. These controls are both intuitive and responsive. However, the iPhone must be held at a 45 degree angle at the start of each level in order to properly control the ship. Otherwise, it becomes very difficult to maneuver.

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Each level has the same objective; destroy all enemies, collect energy to fuel the shield and weapons, and find the hidden codes that unlock the vault. The energy tokens are clearly laid out throughout each level, and only guarded by the occasional enemy unit that is easily taken out with a shot from the ship’s gun. Some enemies are much faster than others and appear suddenly out of nowhere, making reaction time critical to destroying the unit. The codes, on the other hand, are not always easy to find. They are usually located in hidden passageways that must be simply stumbled upon. The levels may be completed without finding the codes, but the game is not truly won unless all the codes are found.

Strange Matter is an interesting game with a unique style that makes it intriguing to play. However, the graphics leave much to be desired, and the gameplay lacks a certain depth necessary for a high replay value. There just isn’t enough meat on the bone for me to want to come back for more.

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