iPhone App Video Review: Star Marine: Infinite Ammo

by Andrew Koziara

Star Marine: Infinite Ammo is a new side scrolling shoot-em up from Glitchsoft, the same people who birthed the Destructopus. It’s very clearly an homage to shoot-em up legend, Contra, featuring very similar controls and making use of similar retro graphics. It’s a well-made game, and while it isn’t flawless, it’s definitely worth a look.

The game puts you in the combat boots of Arc, a Star Marine. While brazenly taking a dangerous shortcut through the bad part of the space neighborhood, he’s captured by a sentient race of robots bent on galactic domination. After inexplicably escaping by being too awesome or something, he fights his way through the ship and eventually the planet below.

The controls are classic Contra. Shoot in eight directions with running left and right, double jumping, and going prone. Your guns have infinite ammo, though you can lose your secondary weapon when if you take too many hits while using it. Between missions, you’ll be able to purchase new guns and abilities using crystals, such as improved armor or a dash ability. You’ll also be able to purchase screen clearing nukes, fall saving Icarus wings, and extra life stimpacks that give you an extra chance.

As you battle your way through each level, you’ll be earning crystals in a multitude of ways. Different weapons have special challenges tied to them which reward crystals, and you’ll get them just for playing and accumulating score. They come in rather slowly though, and it will take you a good while to buy and upgrade every weapon. This slow growth coupled with some rather sticky controls that can really mess you up sometimes are the main weaknesses of the games. You can, of course, purchase extra crystals in-app. What’s actually really cool is that you can earn crystals for watching advertisements. Willfully subject yourself to a simple 15 second advertisement, and you get a crystal. You can do this as many times as you want, so if you have the patience, you can do it for a few minutes and give yourself more of a fighting chance.

The old school pixel art looks great, and the look and feel of the game is just spot on. It definitely has an identity all its own, despite the similarities to Contra. There are plenty of alternate game modes to enjoy, from survival modes to a Boss Rush mode. Game Center achievements and leaderboards are also supported. You can download this game for two dollars, and I definitely recommend it; especially if you come from an older school of gaming.

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