Developer: Pixel Perfex
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Xenon Shooter: The Space Defender is a base shooter game that takes place in the year 2447. The game has an interesting story line, but the game play isn’t quite as intriguing. Although the game is packed with many different enemies, items and boss battles, Xenon Shooter becomes quite repetitive in the first several minutes of game play. However, the game does have some potential if improvements are made in future updates.

At the start of the game, players have the option to select from three difficulty modes: average, challenge and extreme. One of the major downfalls of the game is that the story line plays every time a difficulty mode is selected. Players must quickly tap through the story before playing a game because there is no way to skip it.

The goal of Xenon Shooter is to survive for 30 minutes. Instead of including a built-in tutorial, tips are presented at the start of each game to provide players with some sort of background. At the start of each game, players are given three bombs that blow up everything on the screen, but they must be used strategically. The main idea behind the game is to focus on shooting at the enemies to destroy them and at the different types of floating energies to keep the base power from reducing to zero.

The controls are basic and customizable. From the options menu, gamers are able to reverse the control, adjust the control sensitivity and select a shooting method. Players can either utilize a fire button on the right side of the screen or tap on the weapon itself to fire at enemies.

The game play is challenging depending on the difficulty level selected. Both the average and challenge modes take a good 10 minutes or so before the game picks up pace. Since it can take this long for Xenon Shooter to get interesting, the replay value of the game suffers significantly. Also, there aren’t any Game Center or OpenFeint leaderboards to encourage gamers to compete against friends and players around the world. However, personal best high scores are stored within the game.

Despite a few shortcomings, Xenon Shooter is a refreshing base shooter game for both casual gamers and players who enjoy this genre. While retina graphics are in the works for the next update, the artwork and animations are quite impressive and imaginative. With the addition of more challenges, weapon upgrades, a tweaked interface and a quick tutorial, Xenon Shooter could potentially climb the charts. For now the game is under a buck, and is a nice way to help pass the time.

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