If you like shooters, you should just get this game.

It's funny how we frequently get more excited about the simple games than the high profile efforts. In the end, however, it's all about the gameplay.

John Kooistra's Defend! [App Store] is a $0.99 iPhone shooter with relatively simple graphics and no sound. The controls of the game, however, are remarkably well suited to the platform and already feels like a "classic" iPhone game.

You are defender of a planet with a population of 6.7 billion people. You job is to fight off an oncoming barrage of enemies. Each enemy that gets past you takes out millions of lives.

Controls are dead simple. You continuously fire straight up, and tilting the iPhone left and right adjusts your aim. The game also cleverly shifts orientation between levels, requiring you to turn your iPhone around or into landscape position. The video shows it best:

Progressive levels are increasingly challenging and provides a good amount of gameplay. Normally, we frown upon games without sound, but for $0.99 and an otherwise fun game, we can overlook it.

App Store Link: Defend!, $0.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • SteveJ

    Regarding sound - I hadn't noticed because I'm playing on a 1st gen iPod Touch and hadn't tried headphones yet, but in any case, consider what playing the levels where the planet is in the middle would be like with headphones attached. Hmm... makes me wish we had a wireless audio option.

  • SteveJ

    Regarding sound - I hadn't noticed because I'm playing on a 1st gen iPod Touch and hadn't tried headphones yet, but in any case, consider what playing the levels where the planet is in the middle would be like with headphones attached. Hmm... makes me wish we had a wireless audio option.

  • Jeff

    Looks like a fancy type of birth control...

  • Jeff

    Looks like a fancy type of birth control...

  • Finch

    I bought this game right away and have been enjoying the crap out of it ever since.

    Level 36 is my record.

    here's hoping for online scores in an update!

  • Finch

    I bought this game right away and have been enjoying the crap out of it ever since.

    Level 36 is my record.

    here's hoping for online scores in an update!

  • MilesO'Toole

    Looks like... something else. Gotta get my mind outta the gutter....

  • MilesO'Toole

    Looks like... something else. Gotta get my mind outta the gutter....

  • Nukie

    This game is brilliant in it's graphics and simplicity. Yet, very challenging and fun. Even without sound, it rocks!

  • Nukie

    This game is brilliant in it's graphics and simplicity. Yet, very challenging and fun. Even without sound, it rocks!

  • f e a r l e s s

    I love this game! App Store needs more games with these type of graphics!

  • f e a r l e s s

    I love this game! App Store needs more games with these type of graphics!

  • hkiphone

    if only I could stop thinking the graphics look like someone pissing on sperm, I would be tempted to buy this for the gameplay... I'm really loving this semi-retro gaming on iPhone now, what with Black Mamba reminding me of Super Sprint; Blue Skies reminicient of Airwolf; and now this being a cross of Missile Command and Robotron. These games draw more appeal to me than a drawn-out adventure game.

  • hkiphone

    if only I could stop thinking the graphics look like someone pissing on sperm, I would be tempted to buy this for the gameplay... I'm really loving this semi-retro gaming on iPhone now, what with Black Mamba reminding me of Super Sprint; Blue Skies reminicient of Airwolf; and now this being a cross of Missile Command and Robotron. These games draw more appeal to me than a drawn-out adventure game.

  • Joe

    ^^ exactly! it looks like someone pissing on sperm! lol

  • Joe

    ^^ exactly! it looks like someone pissing on sperm! lol

  • Steve

    this is a great little game. right along the lines of Galacon and such!

  • Steve

    this is a great little game. right along the lines of Galacon and such!

  • Matt Simpson

    Reminds me of a classic game from back in the 512K Mac days. "Sperm from Space".

  • Matt Simpson

    Reminds me of a classic game from back in the 512K Mac days. "Sperm from Space".

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34199313094 John Kooistra

    I'm so glad for all your feedback! :)

    I'm writing here to tell you that I changed the name to "Blue Defense", and I had hoped to get the name change in before the reviews hit... so it looks like I missed the mark a bit.

    But I'm glad you like it, and "defend" as a search term still comes up with my game, so I guess my name change doesn't really matter... :p

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34199313094 John Kooistra

    I'm so glad for all your feedback! :)

    I'm writing here to tell you that I changed the name to "Blue Defense", and I had hoped to get the name change in before the reviews hit... so it looks like I missed the mark a bit.

    But I'm glad you like it, and "defend" as a search term still comes up with my game, so I guess my name change doesn't really matter... :p

  • NotYou

    @John Kooistra

    Are you planning any other games? I've been loving this one and I'm sure you'd have a lot of instant buys with a new game.

    Also, is there a chance we'll be seeing global scoring in the future? This game is just crying out for it.

    I wrote a good review for it in iTunes a few days ago, but I think they won't publish it because I used the word sperm.

  • NotYou

    @John Kooistra

    Are you planning any other games? I've been loving this one and I'm sure you'd have a lot of instant buys with a new game.

    Also, is there a chance we'll be seeing global scoring in the future? This game is just crying out for it.

    I wrote a good review for it in iTunes a few days ago, but I think they won't publish it because I used the word sperm.

  • Rocketman919

    Why the name change? And if i may ask, can i be a beta tester for your future games? Judging by this im assuming every game that you make from here on out will be awesome, and i would like to test for you. Please?

  • Rocketman919

    Why the name change? And if i may ask, can i be a beta tester for your future games? Judging by this im assuming every game that you make from here on out will be awesome, and i would like to test for you. Please?

  • hkiphone

    Well I did end up buying it, and am quite happy with the purchase!
    It really does bring back memories of Robotron, being completely overwhelmed by increasingly tricky enemies with nothing but a rapid laser.
    Here are my suggestions for possibly updates:
    - Upgraded firepower (think R-Type)
    - Additional guns (ie. two points on the planet to fire from)
    - Sounds of lasers, aliens destroyed, and bosses spawning new units

    I agree that Music is not really necessary. If you don't have time to do it and its done wrong, it could kill the mood of the game. Think of the classic 8-bit games that only had 4 channel sounds, but yet still had alot of atmosphere.

  • hkiphone

    Well I did end up buying it, and am quite happy with the purchase!
    It really does bring back memories of Robotron, being completely overwhelmed by increasingly tricky enemies with nothing but a rapid laser.
    Here are my suggestions for possibly updates:
    - Upgraded firepower (think R-Type)
    - Additional guns (ie. two points on the planet to fire from)
    - Sounds of lasers, aliens destroyed, and bosses spawning new units

    I agree that Music is not really necessary. If you don't have time to do it and its done wrong, it could kill the mood of the game. Think of the classic 8-bit games that only had 4 channel sounds, but yet still had alot of atmosphere.

  • http://populationstatistic.com/ CT

    I bought it recently, for the iTouch (and before the name change ;). I'm pretty well addicted to it. Great use of the accelerometer to keep gameplay basic enough but still highly engaging. (And yes, having headphones attached makes the 360-degree maneuvers interesting...)

    I wouldn't enhance the gameplay in terms of extra guns, powerups etc. -- there's beauty in simplicity. No sound either, as I prefer to listen to my own music while playing most any game. The only thing I would suggest: Better representation for when your planet gets hit -- the current tremble isn't always noticeable. Maybe a color-flash for when one of the sperms hit the target...

  • http://populationstatistic.com/ CT

    I bought it recently, for the iTouch (and before the name change ;). I'm pretty well addicted to it. Great use of the accelerometer to keep gameplay basic enough but still highly engaging. (And yes, having headphones attached makes the 360-degree maneuvers interesting...)

    I wouldn't enhance the gameplay in terms of extra guns, powerups etc. -- there's beauty in simplicity. No sound either, as I prefer to listen to my own music while playing most any game. The only thing I would suggest: Better representation for when your planet gets hit -- the current tremble isn't always noticeable. Maybe a color-flash for when one of the sperms hit the target...

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  • Domingo

    I bought it a couple of days ago. Great game! Infinitely better and playable than all the stuff that top the AppStore list.

    I enjoy a lot the 360-degree maneuvers (without headphones..)

    Good luck with the game, Mr. Kooistra!

  • Domingo

    I bought it a couple of days ago. Great game! Infinitely better and playable than all the stuff that top the AppStore list.

    I enjoy a lot the 360-degree maneuvers (without headphones..)

    Good luck with the game, Mr. Kooistra!

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  • Mick Sullivan

    A great game - having played a lot, I have the following gripes:

    Rather repetitive screens - it shouldn't take too much work to generate more styles of screen. A few new types of attacker, or a few more formations.

    Some screens are MUCH harder than others - I invariably lose on the sideways held snakes screen - they are really hard.

    Much faster regeneration of population - so that surviving with a small population for a few levels might actually make an appreciable difference.

  • Mick Sullivan

    A great game - having played a lot, I have the following gripes:

    Rather repetitive screens - it shouldn't take too much work to generate more styles of screen. A few new types of attacker, or a few more formations.

    Some screens are MUCH harder than others - I invariably lose on the sideways held snakes screen - they are really hard.

    Much faster regeneration of population - so that surviving with a small population for a few levels might actually make an appreciable difference.

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  • ultimo

    Wait a Min...
    aren't sperms fastr ?

  • http://donothaveone...yet ultimo

    Wait a Min...
    aren't sperms fastr ?

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