From modern-day Skyforce to the old 8-bit majesty of Raiden, I've always been a big fan of the vertical shooter variant of games beginning with their console origins to their modern, mobile counterparts. In a game where the most difficult concept comes with moving a ship through wave after wave of alien ships, gunfire, and missiles, it seems to be one of those environments that was just begging for the being made for the iPhone. Today, another one of these shooters joins the fray with Astrowings 3 - ICARUS.
Astrowings 3 - ICARUS is your everday shoot-em-up game from m2m entertainment, a korea-based developer that has created this third installment and brought in with it a set of brand new, flashy graphics and item mall service to back up your gaming experience. Sadly though beyond this graphics update in Astrowings 3 there isn't much to be imagined with this new installment beyond generic gameplay, mediocre level design, and a game oriented around an item mall and sadly offers only average gameplay at best for the customer unless you're willing to shell it out for the item mall.
Astrowings opens to offer you the option to play through a variety of ship types, upgrades, and more, but you start off with the very basic unit and weapons. As you play you rack up coins and wings to build your way up to a fully loaded beast of aor and space. While this encourages gameplay it sadly also leaves the plager with a lot of grinding to work their way through the levels. While this doesn't make it short playthrough, you'll find yourself taking the same stage over and over as poor level design complimented with waves of enemies appearing right behind you will force you to upgrade until you can survive - assuming you are not an expert of the gameplay. A checkpoint or more balanced design would have done wonders against the frustration and boredom of grinding.
The game thus really emphasizes its reliance on the item shop for amateurs as the easy-out in ensuring exciting gameplay.
In the end this game is after-all said an arcade oriented game, lacking a storyline and focusing on short, easy gameplay. The only real selling factor of the latest installment of the Astrowings series is its graphics and assurance of future updates. Be warned though, even the modern iPod 4G experienced significant video lag on this version. Simply put, Astrowings 3 - ICARUS is not bad, but not necessarily great either. Now is a great time to try it, because the game is free to download for a limited time. Astrowings 3 - ICARUS is compatible with all iOS devices running 4.0 or later, and is a universal app for both iPhone or iPad.