Fans of retro arcade games and modern 3D titles alike may find interest in Silver Machine Games' soon-to-be-released iPhone space combat flight-sim Metal Sun, which is basically a remake of the 1980 arcade title Defender -- but in 3D.

metal sun screen

The objective of the game is to fly your accelerometer-controlled fighter jet across a varied landscape, with 360-degrees of freedom, defending a small group of people (blue orbs) from abduction by a sky-full of alien craft.  The game features ship customization, upgrades, and a trading mechanic.

The developer indicates that, while the initial release is single-player only, multiplayer support will come in a future update, as well as a "pocket MMO" of sorts, involving destructable cities, giant alien walkers, and various enhancements that take advantage of the iPhone 3.0 SDK.

metal sun 2They've got big plans for the iPhone 3GS as well:

The 3GS graphics capabilities are amazing and we're currently in the process of a major upgrade to the VIVID rendering system (our internal engine) to support it. Some of the stuff we've currently got in alpha test look better than some PS3 games I've seen - particularly when it comes to destructibility; we've got an entire city on one 3GS device that comes apart down almost to the individual brick level. Smoke, debris, flames and pieces of skyscrapers falling down so realistic it looks more like a movie than a game. The 3GS is just that powerful!

For this first release though Metal Sun was designed to run and look good on a standard iPhone - indeed, until things start exploding it actually runs at 50 FPS on a 2G touch! For the next release though it'll detect if a 3GS is present and if so will enhance the display considerably! And then some.

Those who have spent time with a preview build of the game have had positive things to sayMetal Sun has been submitted to the App Store and should appear any day now, at a price of $1.99.

See the developer's gameplay video for a look at the action.

  • spiffyone


    How about some vids of the 3Gs alpha test the dev went on about. I'm sure others on toucharcade would like to see that.

  • Thaurin

    I'm sure he was talking about some of the crappiest PS3 games ever released. Come on, the 3GS is very cool and stuff, but please stay in reality.

    • ImNoSuperMan

      If you consider PS3 has to handle 720p compared to iphone`s half vga resolution, it`s possible that 3GS pumps out grafix comparable to PS3. With Firemint already confirming 40cars running simultaneously on 3GS in Real Racing, I will say this dev could be right here. He might be exaggerating things a bit, but this might not be completely impossible. We want a video proof now,

      • sticktron

        720p = 6x iPhone resolution

  • 'Jeep

    video would be great, fab to see another dev pushing the envelope.

  • Brinkman

    Amazing what graphics the iPhone can produce. Those are N64, if not PSX graphics on a cellphone!

    • Blake Patterson

      N64 CPU = MIPS R4300i @ 94MHz
      PSX CPU = MIPS R3051 @ 34MHz
      Dreamcast CPU = SH4 @ 200MHz
      PS2 CPU = MIPS @ 294MHz

      iPhone 3G = ARM @ 412MHz
      2g iPod touch = ARM @ 535MHz
      iPhone 3GS = ARM @ 600MHz

      iPhone wins easily on CPU. On GPU it beats all with the possible exception of the PS2.

  • Silver Machine Games

    Hey everyone, I'm the dev for Metal Sun and just wanted to clarify the PS3 comments weren't meant to be taken literally :>. It's just after dealing with the limitations of the current iPhone for the better part of a year the 3GS is really exciting to work with! For me it feels like a PS3! lol

    Thanks for the kind words on the Metal Sun game by the way; I really appreciate the support. This is a fantastic community.

    • ImNoSuperMan

      How bout some videos to show what you really meant then? 😀

      • Silver Machine Games

        They're coming; just been buried trying to get Metal Sun out the door and that's been the higher priority. Once Apple releases it though I'll be opening a new forum thread for 'Metal Sun 2' and posting the new vid links there including the 3GS experimental stuff.

    • ImNoSuperMan

      Hehehe. You dont want to show off the 3GS video as that would take the spotlight away from your Metal Sun 1. We understand :P. BTW just confirming if metal sun 2 will be a free upgrade for metal sun 1 buyers? Otherwise I will hold off until sun2 gets launched.

  • Silver Machine Games

    * Update: Now Available On the App Store *

    Find it here:

    For only $1.99!

    • NMR Guy

      Did this get pulled? I went looking for it on the app store, and it doesn't seem to be there...

      • Silver Machine Games

        I pulled it temporarily to fix the auto calibration and to remove most of the enemy shields as they're too strong. It was submitted Monday so should be available on the app store any day now.

  • spreeta

    Looks sweet. Reminds me of Starfox and the Konami combat sims. Feels a bit slow flying as a jet, but it's not bad.