screenshot-20090504-0914241Ok, it's sort of a cop-out to call a 'Lite' version a "must get", but I have good reason:

1) Isotope Lite has more gameplay than most full versions
2) The full version of Isotope isn't yet available.

The App Store has recently been swarmed by a number of Geometry Wars-alikes. These are retro-themed space shooters with multi-directional shooting and swarms of enemies. We've even highlighted a few of them. Most of these games, however, have had some nagging issues that kept them from being great. Too few weapons, too little content, uncomfortable controls, etc...

In contrast, Isotope seems to have enough content and challenge to keep you busy for some time. The Lite version of the game which was released tonight has a feature-complete survival mode with online leaderboards. It also contains a limited campaign mode which acts as a tutorial and also provides about 5 levels of play. In contrast, the full version has over 30 missions as well as a significantly more exhaustive upgrade system.

The game employs a store upgrade system to purchase new ships, weapons and capabilities. Money is earned through combat (either in Survival or Campaign modes) and can be spent on these upgrades. The different ships come with difficult capabilities and can be stored for use at any time.

The game also offers every type of control-system you might want in a multi-directional shooter. The default controls worked best for me with dual analog sticks with auto-centering. This means that you can tap anywhere on the screen and that serves as center point (like DropShip). You also have the option of fixed dpads (like iDracula) as well as accelerometer control (like 2079) and tap-targeting (like Belowscape). The only possible option I didn't see is being able to swap the movement and firing pads (though you could play it upside down).

[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

You can check out the video, or just go ahead and download it since it's free. The full version of the game is expected at the end of next week and will be priced at $2.99.

App Store Link: Isotope Lite, Free

  • iamcheap

    Nice! Solid game! (after a few minutes of play) Good idea releasing a Lite version before the Full.

    Not fair you get the feed before we do! :(

  • iamcheap

    Nice! Solid game! (after a few minutes of play) Good idea releasing a Lite version before the Full.

    Not fair you get the feed before we do! :(

  • DannyV

    This game is surprisingly good!!! Very impressed! When I first saw it I wasn't expecting much but it's very nicely made.

  • DannyV

    This game is surprisingly good!!! Very impressed! When I first saw it I wasn't expecting much but it's very nicely made.

  • ziggyonice

    Hmm... I've been waiting for Circuit Strike.One, but I may consider getting this in the meantime.

  • ziggyonice

    Hmm... I've been waiting for Circuit Strike.One, but I may consider getting this in the meantime.

  • Dudehuge

    I completely agree with the article. It's very good! I'm sold.

  • Dudehuge

    I completely agree with the article. It's very good! I'm sold.

  • Rocco

    Wow, what a fantastic game. Much better than all half-baked competition. Full of content, perfect controls, great and changing level design, many different enemies, beautiful and smooth graphics. The only thing, which annoys me a litte: the status bars and signs are not that beautiful (ugly house) and way too big. Besides that, best Geometry Wars game on the iPhone and the full verson will be an instant purchase!

  • Rocco

    Wow, what a fantastic game. Much better than all half-baked competition. Full of content, perfect controls, great and changing level design, many different enemies, beautiful and smooth graphics. The only thing, which annoys me a litte: the status bars and signs are not that beautiful (ugly house) and way too big. Besides that, best Geometry Wars game on the iPhone and the full verson will be an instant purchase!

  • Reaganomics

    I've been checking the app store all week for this one and it's almost here. I got scared for a second, I thought it got rejected or something. I'm kind of sad that I can't buy the full game right now, but if that's their selling strategy then I guess I have to support it. But I'll give you guys until Fri.

  • Reaganomics

    I've been checking the app store all week for this one and it's almost here. I got scared for a second, I thought it got rejected or something. I'm kind of sad that I can't buy the full game right now, but if that's their selling strategy then I guess I have to support it. But I'll give you guys until Fri.

  • Ahiru

    wow this looks a lot better than blue attack!

    • wegmans

      Agreed, a game that has had no updates since February, which is quite a let down

  • Ahiru

    wow this looks a lot better than blue attack!

    • wegmans

      Agreed, a game that has had no updates since February, which is quite a let down

  • Lord Gek

    Wowza! Good fun and possibly the best of the latest Geometry Wars like shooter released recently!

    From the demo it appears that the Campaign and Survival Modes are completely independent from each other (other than the player being able to freely flit back and forth between the two with their latest ship configurations). Since I don't care for the Campaign Mode I hope it is safe to assume I'm not missing out on any ships, equipment, etc. by sticking to Survival Mode OR does the game pull some cheesy bit where some ships are only unlocked by beating the Campaign?

  • Lord Gek

    Wowza! Good fun and possibly the best of the latest Geometry Wars like shooter released recently!

    From the demo it appears that the Campaign and Survival Modes are completely independent from each other (other than the player being able to freely flit back and forth between the two with their latest ship configurations). Since I don't care for the Campaign Mode I hope it is safe to assume I'm not missing out on any ships, equipment, etc. by sticking to Survival Mode OR does the game pull some cheesy bit where some ships are only unlocked by beating the Campaign?

  • http://isotope.affogatosoftware.com cidstrom

    Lord Gek: the complete survival mode is available on the Lite version, but there are many more ships, modules, and abilities to buy and equip in the full version. There's no requirement that you complete anything in the Campaign to purchase new ships (since you get both experience and money in survival), but campaign is generally the faster way to level up new ships and get money.

    • Lord Gek

      So even by just playing Survival in the full game I will be able to access all of the various shops (since we need to choose the shop I have to assume there are multiple stores in the full game)?

      • ujp

        Yeap you can unlock everything from playing survival. There are 8 stores in the full version, with much more powerful ships and abilities. Once you get to the mid/high level game, choosing the best combo of ship, abilities and modules will become very important.

  • http://isotope.affogatosoftware.com cidstrom

    Lord Gek: the complete survival mode is available on the Lite version, but there are many more ships, modules, and abilities to buy and equip in the full version. There's no requirement that you complete anything in the Campaign to purchase new ships (since you get both experience and money in survival), but campaign is generally the faster way to level up new ships and get money.

    • Lord Gek

      So even by just playing Survival in the full game I will be able to access all of the various shops (since we need to choose the shop I have to assume there are multiple stores in the full game)?

      • ujp

        Yeap you can unlock everything from playing survival. There are 8 stores in the full version, with much more powerful ships and abilities. Once you get to the mid/high level game, choosing the best combo of ship, abilities and modules will become very important.

  • Frumius

    Ironically, touchArcade's video cannot be viewed with my iPod touch! I'd love to see it. How ironic, and disappointing, for this is by no means an isolated instance here. It's akin to drive-up food joint that makes you get out of your car!

  • Frumius

    Ironically, touchArcade's video cannot be viewed with my iPod touch! I'd love to see it. How ironic, and disappointing, for this is by no means an isolated instance here. It's akin to drive-up food joint that makes you get out of your car!

  • Frumius

    Oops, now here's some more irony... The video does work on my touch! Perhaps I was not patient enough. Looks pretty good, and the video itself was well-done, too.

  • Frumius

    Oops, now here's some more irony... The video does work on my touch! Perhaps I was not patient enough. Looks pretty good, and the video itself was well-done, too.

  • Lord Gek

    I'm loving this game in Survival Mode. It starts off with basic little flocks of fairly generic baddies but then WHAM, one of the special ships with wacky unique powers enters in and things really change up.

  • Lord Gek

    I'm loving this game in Survival Mode. It starts off with basic little flocks of fairly generic baddies but then WHAM, one of the special ships with wacky unique powers enters in and things really change up.

  • http://bkpdev.com Brandon

    Curious if anyone else posting here has 3.0 installed. This game for me has been very buggy. I'm currently looking at a screen in forced vertical mode when the content is obviously intended for widescreen (cut off , only on top 2/3 of screen) and the buttons are not working.

    Thanks for the feedback, I look forward to checking out what everyone is enjoying.

  • http://bkpdev.com Brandon

    Curious if anyone else posting here has 3.0 installed. This game for me has been very buggy. I'm currently looking at a screen in forced vertical mode when the content is obviously intended for widescreen (cut off , only on top 2/3 of screen) and the buttons are not working.

    Thanks for the feedback, I look forward to checking out what everyone is enjoying.

  • dpp

    Brandon -- yes, it is pretty much unusable for me running 3.0 beta. It stutters every few seconds during play and the menus are all the wrong orientation and can't be used. Very strange -- I thought apple was forcing that apps work under 3.0 now?

    • http://bkpdev.com Brandon

      dpp: It's possible this was submitted prior to that announcement, or they simply didn't do that thorough a test with it. Either way I can say that I've been able to see the promise of the app and I'm hopeful that the full version either plays better on 3.0 or an update comes out before 3.0 goes out for prime time.

  • dpp

    Brandon -- yes, it is pretty much unusable for me running 3.0 beta. It stutters every few seconds during play and the menus are all the wrong orientation and can't be used. Very strange -- I thought apple was forcing that apps work under 3.0 now?

    • http://bkpdev.com Brandon

      dpp: It's possible this was submitted prior to that announcement, or they simply didn't do that thorough a test with it. Either way I can say that I've been able to see the promise of the app and I'm hopeful that the full version either plays better on 3.0 or an update comes out before 3.0 goes out for prime time.

  • Boobies Extreme

    This game is awesome.

  • Boobies Extreme

    This game is awesome.

  • Oneiromancer

    This is an awesome game. Insta-buy when the full version comes out, for sure.

    By the way, for anyone else that is trying to get the Satellite unlocked, as far as I can tell, for the ships available in the lite version, you can only get it with the Lithium, fully leveled up with CPU (4 times, the only one that can get that high in the lite version), and then the Basic Coprocessor installed in the Modules. And really, the one Satellite that is available didn't really seem worth it to me except maybe on Survival mode.

  • Oneiromancer

    This is an awesome game. Insta-buy when the full version comes out, for sure.

    By the way, for anyone else that is trying to get the Satellite unlocked, as far as I can tell, for the ships available in the lite version, you can only get it with the Lithium, fully leveled up with CPU (4 times, the only one that can get that high in the lite version), and then the Basic Coprocessor installed in the Modules. And really, the one Satellite that is available didn't really seem worth it to me except maybe on Survival mode.

  • Jakkers

    Pretty spiffy game, but I'm not sure it's worth 3 bucks... just too many good games out at less than that, the market value seems to be pretty low these days.

  • Jakkers

    Pretty spiffy game, but I'm not sure it's worth 3 bucks... just too many good games out at less than that, the market value seems to be pretty low these days.

  • http://www.dr-leech.com.ar/ Leandro

    Great game.
    Also the music is awesome!

  • http://www.dr-leech.com.ar/ Leandro

    Great game.
    Also the music is awesome!