iPhone App Video Review: Starfighter Overkill

by Andrew Koziara

Starfighter Overkill is the latest title from Rapid Turtle Games. It's a very simple scrolling shooter with fantastic art and decent gameplay, but very little variety, no set up, and a lack of a sense of progression. It's also very repetitive. The production values are nice and the basic mechanics are fun, but it's also not all that compelling.

This is a simple wave based scrolling shooter. Survive as long as you can against an onslaught of enemy ships. Your ship only shoots while you touch the left side of the screen to move. You also have three special collectible weapons. A slicing laser beam, a wave of fire, and a screen clearing nuke. As you take enemies down, they'll also drop all sorts of random weapons that are added to your normal automatic fire, such as missiles, guns, bombs, and lasers, each with their own spray patterns and benefits. If you kill enough enemies, you'll be able to summon an air strike, which is just a wall of missiles that does massive damage. You can only carry one of these at a time, so use it as soon as you can to make room for another.

As you progress through the waves, you'll occasionally face boss enemies with loads of health. I've only seen two of them so far. Once you get through 50, 100, and 150 waves, you'll unlock the second, third, and fourth maps respectively, which come with fancy new backgrounds and enemies. To be honest, it takes way too long to unlock a new map; especially since I only saw one new enemy in the second map, and it was nothing but a beefed up clone of the most common enemy in the game. Everything is very randomized, so maybe I just didn't get to encounter anything new, but there still isn't any real payoff to the whole game other than Game Center and OpenFeint leaderboards and achievements. It's also extremely hard to really avoid damage. Your ship is very wide and bulky, and there is just too much crossfire. It's especially annoying that they send enemies from the lower left of the screen, exactly where your thumb is blocking your view.

As I said, the production values are great. The 2D sprites are nice looking, and the HD backgrounds are crisp and detailed. I was quite impressed with them. Music and sound effects are great too. The game isn't bad. It's just not very good either. It's very average, right down the middle. You won't get much out of the game, but it's a great way to kill some time. It's iOS Universal and two dollars at the time of this review. If it sounds like something you'll enjoy, you probably will, as long as your expectations are in line.

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