A few weeks back, Funsuma Games released their 3D space shooter StarPagga [App Store] for the iPhone and iPod touch. And while we were slow to get the word out on this impressive looking title, the action is anything but.
StarPagga places you in the role of a new member of the Azure Squadron with the mission of attacking and defending a variety of space environments using one of four different craft, each with its own particular set of advantages and disadvantages.
The missions are rather varied -- battles with and around space stations, through meteor fields, amid radar-obscuring space fog, etc. It provides a welcome change of scenery that keeps things interesting. The playfield is a sectioned-off cubic area in space; when the edge is reached, your ship turns about and returns to the action automatically. At times the playfield can feel a bit cramped, but it's suitable to the missions at hand.
Various weapons including lasers, fusion torpedoes, anti-matter missiles, and the like are available for waging war against the enemy. Control is handled via either touch or accelerometer, with calibration available through the options screens.
Some features listed by the developer:
- Action packed 3D space combat
- LAN multiplayer - Challenge your friends face to face
- Internet multiplayer - Challenge your friends, anywhere, iPhone to iPhone
- Battle in a variety of different space environments from Saturn's rings, dense asteroid fields, orbital construction zones and deep fog plasma clouds
- 12 challenging missions + 2 tutorials + 3 practice missions
- 4 different spacecraft each with their own strengths and weaknesses
While I was unable to find an in-play game session through Internet Multiplayer mode to test the online play, the Single Player mode is rather enjoyable. It feels like a somewhat "lighter" version of Fishlabs' Galaxy on Fire [App Store], with gameplay that feels a bit more "pick-up", and missions that feel a bit more "thin". Game features have evolved since the 1.0 release with a recent 1.1 update which brought online leaderboards, awards, an increase in the number of online players, and various bug fixes. The developer is very active in our forums, has been listening to our readers. A 1.2 update is not far from release.
StarPagga plays well on our 2G iPod touch test device and fans of 3D space shooters should find it a rather enjoyable way to man the crosshairs. Those who want to try before they buy should have a look at the free, lite version [App Store].