Developer: GUILLERMO MARCONI
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Shooter - The iPhone has proven to be a great platform for realizing fun shooting games. Top tier games like Heavy Mach, iShoot and Wild West Guns are a few of the gems that are currently sitting comfortably on the top of the shooter genre.
lionsoft has chosen to offer up another option for shooter fans in their second title for the iPhone. While Shooter may not be the most unique or ground breaking name, it’s clear that lionsoft is betting the farm on the game’s attempt to be charming and quirky enough to garner an audience for their game.
At its core, Shooter is a target shooting game with a revolver being the weapon of choice. Bottles are thrown into the environment and you have to shoot them to gain points. Hitting thresholds in points prior to time expiring is the method for progressing through Shooter’s 10 levels. Like other target shooters, several things you aren’t supposed to shoot muddle up the environment as the tool to introduce difficulty. Shooting one of these items triggers events that take away points, cover your point of view, or accelerate time.
Game play is a mixed bag composed of more bad than good things unfortunately. Shooter uses the accelerometer to aim its onscreen target reticule with onscreen — too small — buttons for reloading and shooting. This is a different control scheme than I’m used to for target based shooters, and it’s a bad design decision — Shooter requires calibration prior to playing every level — that is regrettable. Aiming doesn't feel intuitive and natural from the beginning, but it does get easier to deal with over time. This control scheme is especially exposed given how busy the action gets. Shooting items you aren’t supposed to shoot happens more times than it should, and it makes playing the game a frustrating and infuriating exercise. lionsoft would have been best served to develop a control scheme that uses the proven method of tapping on targets to shoot them.
On a positive note, the presentation layer is good in Shooter. The game leverages a great looking hand drawn cartoon graphical style that gets the job done. Performance is consistent and the environments have good variety that keep things from looking homogenized. In regards to audio, the music is peppy and the sound effects have a good punch to them. While the graphics are good on a technical level, Shooter has a generic look and feel that doesn't strike me as either inspired or original.
I can respect the ways in which lionsoft has tried to shake up the shooter genre. While I can respect the effort, I can’t recommend Shooter based on it’s convoluted controls alone. Though it pains me to say this, this Shooter is firing nothing but loud blanks.