056997_2TipCat Mobile just released a very nice side scrolling shooter called Cell War [App Store].

The $2.99 game offers a beautifully stylized side scroller that places you as the pilot of a nano machine whose mission is fight off viruses and save the humans from disease. Designed for the iPhone, the game has some nice touches with a good variety of level design and power-ups that seem to keep the game interesting. Three levels of difficulty are provided over 9 different stages, and the game also provides online leaderboards.

The game is controlled primarily through the use of the iPhone's accelerometer allowing you to move the ship with tilt controls alone. This can be calibrated in the options so you can choose the neutral position. Your primary weapon is fired automatically and can be upgraded multiple times. Beyond this, the game also offers a nice touch targeting system for missiles akin to Space Deadbeef -- simply touching on the enemies will lock on your missiles.

Here's the game in action:

The developers have also released a fully featured Lite version that provides the first two stages of the game, complete with all 3 difficulty levels. There really is a lot to like about this game, and the production values are outstanding. My only real issue with the game may simply be a personal one. I've never been a fan of the use of the accelerometer for ship movement in 2D iPhone shooters, and I much prefer touch (which is not an option). If you have no such hang ups, this game is definitely recommended, but even if you do, the Lite version provides you with a great sampling of the game.

App Store Link: Cell War, $2.99, Cell War Lite, Free

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Rock

    Nice review! I will try it today.

  • Rock

    Nice review! I will try it today.

  • Havoc

    Really? No other option besides accelerometer? Don't they know there's a lot of people who will pass just based on that? This game looked right up my alley until I saw that line, but forget it.

    I get why it works in doodle jump and racing games, but it's not a replacement for a joystick in a classic style arcade game. If you're gonna go that way please at least give us the option for a classic control scheme. Options are good.

    • Adams Immersive

      I’ve decided that horizontal tilt control is fine, but vertical or 360-degree tilt control gives me pause. It’s perfect for some games (like Dr. Awesome and maybe this one), especially with an easy calibration method. But it does give me pause.

  • Havoc

    Really? No other option besides accelerometer? Don't they know there's a lot of people who will pass just based on that? This game looked right up my alley until I saw that line, but forget it.

    I get why it works in doodle jump and racing games, but it's not a replacement for a joystick in a classic style arcade game. If you're gonna go that way please at least give us the option for a classic control scheme. Options are good.

    • Adams Immersive

      I’ve decided that horizontal tilt control is fine, but vertical or 360-degree tilt control gives me pause. It’s perfect for some games (like Dr. Awesome and maybe this one), especially with an easy calibration method. But it does give me pause.

  • http://minisquadron.blogspot.com Tak Fung

    I loved Space Deadbeef - so pretty. @Havoc if you don't like accelerometer controls wait for MiniSquadron - it has a touchpad and is uber simple to control - even my Dad can do it and he doesn't even know what electricity is.

    Having said that tho - I enjoyed the space deadbeef controls so I'm gonna give this a go too!

  • http://minisquadron.blogspot.com Tak Fung

    I loved Space Deadbeef - so pretty. @Havoc if you don't like accelerometer controls wait for MiniSquadron - it has a touchpad and is uber simple to control - even my Dad can do it and he doesn't even know what electricity is.

    Having said that tho - I enjoyed the space deadbeef controls so I'm gonna give this a go too!

  • jon

    This is basically Life Force for the NES. http://vc.nintendolife.com/reviews/2009/02/life_force_virtual_console

    My memory of that game was that it was pretty fun at first, but lagged about halfway through.

  • jon

    This is basically Life Force for the NES. http://vc.nintendolife.com/reviews/2009/02/life_force_virtual_console

    My memory of that game was that it was pretty fun at first, but lagged about halfway through.

  • Lukeb

    I love tilt controls, and this game looks like an old Psygnosis title, so I'll be trying the lite version.

  • Lukeb

    I love tilt controls, and this game looks like an old Psygnosis title, so I'll be trying the lite version.

  • Greg K

    I have to agree with Havoc... with just tilt controls, the game will be a no go for me. Too bad, because it looks great otherwise. Maybe an update to add the option of a virtual stick? Please?

    • Kevin

      Better yet, I'd prefer relative touch movement ala Space Invaders: Infinity Gene! I'll give the Lite version a try, but will only buy the game if the controls work well for me!

      • spiffyone

        touch movement, on the other hand, is a good option to have.

        I'd be all for it if it were the style used in Infinity Gene, or even the style used in Phull (where it was implemented via a "slide zone" on the left hand side of the screen).

    • spiffyone

      ENOUGH with the friggin' calls for virtual joystick.

      Seriously, it is an ugly way around things.

      It would be better to use, say, slide control, ala Phull. At least there you aren't constantly blocking your view, as you are with virtual joysticks, and it looks quite a great deal more "elegant" to boot.

      Honestly, we don't need virtual joysticks for the majority of games on this platform, even those that we traditionally control with physical dpads and joysticks on other platforms. We don't need virtual onscreen controls for platformers, as games like Bounce On (accelerometer and tap controlled) and Gold Miner Joe (swipe-hold and tap controlled) and HookChamp (tap) have proven. Hell,we don't need virtual joystick or dpads for shmups, as games like iFighter, Sentry Alpha and Phull have proven.

      The only people who do "need" virtual onscreen controls are those who mistake their inability to grasp the new control paradigms as the "inability" for such games to play well on the platform, or those who foolishly think that virtual dpads and joysticks are the solution to every control issue due to their inability to grasp new ideas, even though the vast majority of games that HAVE virtual dpads and joysticks control like donkey ass.

      *end rant

      • Greg K

        "ENOUGH with the friggin' calls for virtual joystick."

        I apologize for having an opinion.

        "Seriously, it is an ugly way around things."

        Your opinion is obviously more important than mine. I should have though of you prior to making a statement.

        "It would be better to use, say, slide control, ala Phull. At least there you aren't constantly blocking your view, as you are with virtual joysticks, and it looks quite a great deal more "elegant" to boot."

        Here, I agree. Virtual sticks obscure the screen in a lot of games, and this platform opens up a whole new world of control possibilities.

        "The only people who do "need" virtual onscreen controls are those who mistake their inability to grasp the new control paradigms as the "inability" for such games to play well on the platform, or those who foolishly think that virtual dpads and joysticks are the solution to every control issue due to their inability to grasp new ideas, even though the vast majority of games that HAVE virtual dpads and joysticks control like donkey ass."

        Again, thanks for enlightening me. Your rant has completely changed my rather feeble mind. I'm almost embarrassed for having expressed thoughts contrary to yours.

        *end opinion

      • Havoc

        "Spiffyone"--

        I don't like tilt controls. I hate them, actually. It's a clunky way to control the device... In my opinion. I don't ever really feel in control when tilting... In my experience.

        Maybe you don't share my opinion, I could care less. I'm expressing it because I hope future devs see that not everyone likes tilt games and by going only that route in games like this, they're screwing themselves out of a decent sized block of customers. That's all, I'm not insulting you for like the accelerometer (the way you seem to be doing with everyone else.)

        What I asked for is OPTIONS. You like tilt, I like virtual joysticks ("like" is a relative term, but I vastly prefer it to tilt controls, which I have zero interest whatsoever in at this point.) That's cool, people are different. But there's absolutely no reason a game like this couldn't have both. Games are supposed to be fun, and not enjoying the control scheme makes a game not fun.

        Stop putting other people down for having perfectly valid opinions, dude. We're only talking about games here, and cheap disposable ones at that.

  • Greg K

    I have to agree with Havoc... with just tilt controls, the game will be a no go for me. Too bad, because it looks great otherwise. Maybe an update to add the option of a virtual stick? Please?

    • Kevin

      Better yet, I'd prefer relative touch movement ala Space Invaders: Infinity Gene! I'll give the Lite version a try, but will only buy the game if the controls work well for me!

      • spiffyone

        touch movement, on the other hand, is a good option to have.

        I'd be all for it if it were the style used in Infinity Gene, or even the style used in Phull (where it was implemented via a "slide zone" on the left hand side of the screen).

    • spiffyone

      ENOUGH with the friggin' calls for virtual joystick.

      Seriously, it is an ugly way around things.

      It would be better to use, say, slide control, ala Phull. At least there you aren't constantly blocking your view, as you are with virtual joysticks, and it looks quite a great deal more "elegant" to boot.

      Honestly, we don't need virtual joysticks for the majority of games on this platform, even those that we traditionally control with physical dpads and joysticks on other platforms. We don't need virtual onscreen controls for platformers, as games like Bounce On (accelerometer and tap controlled) and Gold Miner Joe (swipe-hold and tap controlled) and HookChamp (tap) have proven. Hell,we don't need virtual joystick or dpads for shmups, as games like iFighter, Sentry Alpha and Phull have proven.

      The only people who do "need" virtual onscreen controls are those who mistake their inability to grasp the new control paradigms as the "inability" for such games to play well on the platform, or those who foolishly think that virtual dpads and joysticks are the solution to every control issue due to their inability to grasp new ideas, even though the vast majority of games that HAVE virtual dpads and joysticks control like donkey ass.

      *end rant

      • Greg K

        "ENOUGH with the friggin' calls for virtual joystick."

        I apologize for having an opinion.

        "Seriously, it is an ugly way around things."

        Your opinion is obviously more important than mine. I should have though of you prior to making a statement.

        "It would be better to use, say, slide control, ala Phull. At least there you aren't constantly blocking your view, as you are with virtual joysticks, and it looks quite a great deal more "elegant" to boot."

        Here, I agree. Virtual sticks obscure the screen in a lot of games, and this platform opens up a whole new world of control possibilities.

        "The only people who do "need" virtual onscreen controls are those who mistake their inability to grasp the new control paradigms as the "inability" for such games to play well on the platform, or those who foolishly think that virtual dpads and joysticks are the solution to every control issue due to their inability to grasp new ideas, even though the vast majority of games that HAVE virtual dpads and joysticks control like donkey ass."

        Again, thanks for enlightening me. Your rant has completely changed my rather feeble mind. I'm almost embarrassed for having expressed thoughts contrary to yours.

        *end opinion

      • Havoc

        "Spiffyone"--

        I don't like tilt controls. I hate them, actually. It's a clunky way to control the device... In my opinion. I don't ever really feel in control when tilting... In my experience.

        Maybe you don't share my opinion, I could care less. I'm expressing it because I hope future devs see that not everyone likes tilt games and by going only that route in games like this, they're screwing themselves out of a decent sized block of customers. That's all, I'm not insulting you for like the accelerometer (the way you seem to be doing with everyone else.)

        What I asked for is OPTIONS. You like tilt, I like virtual joysticks ("like" is a relative term, but I vastly prefer it to tilt controls, which I have zero interest whatsoever in at this point.) That's cool, people are different. But there's absolutely no reason a game like this couldn't have both. Games are supposed to be fun, and not enjoying the control scheme makes a game not fun.

        Stop putting other people down for having perfectly valid opinions, dude. We're only talking about games here, and cheap disposable ones at that.

  • Peter

    I like the game but not having global high scores (openfeint ?) is a deal breaker for me.

    • tipcatmobile

      The game has the global leaderboard and local leaderboard. In lite version, you can only check the local one. If you buy the full version, you have them both.

  • Peter

    I like the game but not having global high scores (openfeint ?) is a deal breaker for me.

    • tipcatmobile

      The game has the global leaderboard and local leaderboard. In lite version, you can only check the local one. If you buy the full version, you have them both.

  • http://apprelease.com RaiderRich721

    I will pass also because of the controls.

  • http://apprelease.com RaiderRich721

    I will pass also because of the controls.

  • http://www.thegamelessplayed.com Dominic White

    So, have any of you guys saying no because of the controls tried the demo version? Because it's pretty great, actually.

  • http://www.thegamelessplayed.com Dominic White

    So, have any of you guys saying no because of the controls tried the demo version? Because it's pretty great, actually.

  • acidbottle

    i love shoot em ups. i love salamander and nemesis. i did not think much to this game tho.

    the controls were very twitchy, perhaps with much more practice youd get a real feel for them.

    but aside from controls, the game wasnt inspiring enough to even finish off the lite version. slight change in backdrops each level but very predictable attack waves. really is a 2 outta 5 for me.

    • Peter

      Are those 2 games you mentioned still available? I looked them up and found nothing.

      • acidbottle

        ahh sorry for the confusion. sadly neither of those 2 games have yet made it to the idevice, i mentioned them merely as they are closest examples in both visual style and gameplay as i could think of ;)

        however, the C64 emu may have them as DLC one day .. fingers crossed!

  • acidbottle

    i love shoot em ups. i love salamander and nemesis. i did not think much to this game tho.

    the controls were very twitchy, perhaps with much more practice youd get a real feel for them.

    but aside from controls, the game wasnt inspiring enough to even finish off the lite version. slight change in backdrops each level but very predictable attack waves. really is a 2 outta 5 for me.

    • Peter

      Are those 2 games you mentioned still available? I looked them up and found nothing.

      • acidbottle

        ahh sorry for the confusion. sadly neither of those 2 games have yet made it to the idevice, i mentioned them merely as they are closest examples in both visual style and gameplay as i could think of ;)

        however, the C64 emu may have them as DLC one day .. fingers crossed!

  • HistorySchol

    No touch controls, no buy.

    • Rock

      Sometimes, touch control ruins the gameplay of shooting games. You need to focus on jook most of the gaming time. Place a huge finger tip on the screen will blind the player very badly...

      Let's see whether we could expect a touch & shooting game :-)

  • HistorySchol

    No touch controls, no buy.

    • Rock

      Sometimes, touch control ruins the gameplay of shooting games. You need to focus on jook most of the gaming time. Place a huge finger tip on the screen will blind the player very badly...

      Let's see whether we could expect a touch & shooting game :-)

  • http://www.moistproduction.com moist

    same here on the controls... hate watching a endlessly tilting screen... add touch plz or no go.

  • http://www.moistproduction.com moist

    same here on the controls... hate watching a endlessly tilting screen... add touch plz or no go.

  • Rad

    Looks good but $2.99 ???

  • Rad

    Looks good but $2.99 ???

  • Naman

    I'll give the lite a shot, but I'm bummed to hear it's tilt controls. Usually that means you can't play the game while lying down, which is how I usually am when using my iTouch.

  • Naman

    I'll give the lite a shot, but I'm bummed to hear it's tilt controls. Usually that means you can't play the game while lying down, which is how I usually am when using my iTouch.

  • Gold

    different to some ppl here, I actually prefer tilt control than a virtual joystick. This is actually my first try with Iphone game, and I got used to it in 1 minutes!!!! Besides, feel it maybe the most natural way for games on this device

  • Gold

    different to some ppl here, I actually prefer tilt control than a virtual joystick. This is actually my first try with Iphone game, and I got used to it in 1 minutes!!!! Besides, feel it maybe the most natural way for games on this device

  • http://www.activsion.com Shiry

    This game looks beautiful enough and reminds me the kid's time of the Salamander! I was wishing I could challege all thru the 9 stages with my poor silly control skill. But finally I found it was a 1 minute learn to fully control the moving, shooting and bombing... haa~~~ my son loves it much, he is challenge the stage 9 now! hope he can work it out in 2 days :)
    hope to see TipCat Mobile next arcade game...

    • Rain

      A kid can reach stage 9 so quickly??? Amazing!!!

      • Lukeb

        He could be...
        ...using continues
        ...playing on easy
        ...a grownup or teen

        The stage 4 boss (2 bosses at once) is killing me on the normal level.

  • http://www.activsion.com Shiry

    This game looks beautiful enough and reminds me the kid's time of the Salamander! I was wishing I could challege all thru the 9 stages with my poor silly control skill. But finally I found it was a 1 minute learn to fully control the moving, shooting and bombing... haa~~~ my son loves it much, he is challenge the stage 9 now! hope he can work it out in 2 days :)
    hope to see TipCat Mobile next arcade game...

    • Rain

      A kid can reach stage 9 so quickly??? Amazing!!!

      • Lukeb

        He could be...
        ...using continues
        ...playing on easy
        ...a grownup or teen

        The stage 4 boss (2 bosses at once) is killing me on the normal level.

  • Rock

    I have passed thru all the stages finally! It ate my weekend, watching the kid and shooting for fun...

  • Rock

    I have passed thru all the stages finally! It ate my weekend, watching the kid and shooting for fun...

  • shumby

    $.99 today!

  • shumby

    $.99 today!