One of the first top-down shooters worth playing to appear in the App Store was Lazrhog's iPhone port of Kenta Cho's 2003 "bullet hell" shooter rRootage. This weekend, Miko Wohlgemuth released his own iPhone adaptation of Cho's vector-based shooter, rRootage Online [App Store].

rRootage Online is, of course, rather similar to Lazrhog's early App Store offering, but comes packed with a number of additional bells and whistles. It features music and sound effects, multitouch controls, online scoreboards, and a number of different playmodes, which really notches up the experience.

  • Normal Mode -- This is the standard playmode. Your special weapon (two finger tap) is a bomb that wipes out enemy bullets.
  • PSY Mode -- The trick here is to closely graze enemy bullets. With each graze, an onscreen graze meter increases. Once full, your ship becomes invincible for a short period. Your special weapon is the ability to roll, slowing the ship and widening the range with which your ship can graze bullets.
  • IKA Mode -- A nod to Ikaruga, in this mode your ship is either black or white. The special weapon is to change your ship's color. Bullets, as well, are black and white and those the same color as your ship cause no damage upon impact.
  • GW Mode -- In this mode, your special weapon is a reflector, which reflects enemy bullets away from your ship, tied to an onscreen reflector meter.

In each mode, the overall goal is to shoot shoot shoot and dodge dodge dodge. And, perhaps the most noteworthy feature of this release versus the earlier App Store version is full playability under iOS 4.

Anyone who enjoys a nice 2D shooter should grab this one instantly. After all, it's free, funded by iAds on the high scrore screen. Our forum readers are loving it.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Kevin

    wow, i remember playing noiz2sa and rrootage back in.. 2007; will have to get this

  • Zastro

    Free games are always nice, and I love bullet hell shooters (Espgaluda 2 is possibly my favourite iPhone game), but this seems to have some nasty control issues.

    Basically I like the ship to keep up with my finger, which it just doesn't in rRootage. Within 5 seconds or so it would usually be either at the opposite side of the screen to my finger, or worse, when slowly dodgy enemy bullets would end up directly under my finger, meaning I couldn't see a thing...

    Shouldn't a difficult fix I would imagine, and would improve this a huge amount.

    Retina display support would be nice too!

    • squarezero

      Not my experience at all. Perhaps a reinstall is in order. Or you have been lifting your finger from the screen without noticing. I don't believe there is anything wrong with the game itself.

    • squarezero

      Or perhaps there is an iPhone 4 specific issue.

  • George

    On controll i didint find anything wrong with it tbh, controlled fine for me, thanks for the free also 🙂 go's a long way when you make another or maybe update for my money 🙂

  • Zorak

    Got the same pb with controls. Always ends with my finger over the ship. But great game, please make an update for iphone 4. Many thanks for the real nice and free shoot !

  • weak

    I won't have iphone4 hardware for testing before the end of the month, so if someone with an iphone4 can test an adhoc build, send me a mail or reply to the forum thread, thanks.

  • Jim Somebody

    Not really into bullet hell, but it's free, and I can see myself wasting time on this. Immediate problem with the game is that there's no sense of tutorial/instruction. It's just a bunch of buttons, I don't know how to change modes, what other things I could do etc.

    Functional, but lacks any sort of instruction/help.

    • spacecowgoesmoo

      All the needed instruction of the game modes is in the App description. Other than that, all you need to know is to kill the big bad and don't get hit 🙂

    • John

      On the level select screen, the very top four squares aren't levels and in fact are the different modes.

  • Anon

    Funded by ads? I was about to dowload this but I don't support people making money with open source games they didn't create.

    • Doctor Fedora

      So what's the better alternative? That they charge a small fee to compensate them for the time they spent porting it over? It's not like "open source" means they just plug it into a compiler and it works 100% lickety-split. At least they aren't actually charging any money for it.

      • Anonymous

        I kind of doubt it took them more than a few weeks to port. The fact remains that this is someone financially profiting from a non-profit game made by someone else. Also, as far as I'm aware, the Lazrhog port was 100% free, no ads or anything, just how it should be.

  • Kevlar

    Have to agree with control issues on iPhone 4, the ship doesn't stay with my finger and gets more and more out of sync with it.

  • Xeliorones

    I didn't noticed much the controls problems on an ipad. But once stage 1 is cleared the game ends, is there only one stage or it's a bug? For shooter it isn't bad but have only the missiles that varry makes it less pleasant than other similar games. But for free it worth it largely, at least if you like the genre.

    About the ipub I didn't noticed, I don't disagree as soon as they aren't too intrusive, but I wonder if they are legal with the open source license. The classical open sources licenses don't allow make any direct profit from it.

    • John

      There was a wii game that was based off a kena cho game, and had a few others as unlockables, it was sold in retail chains. And the iphone has a port of noiz2sa that is being sold for .99, though it's not as good as the free version.

      Also the game shouldn't end after level 1, it should take you back to the level select screen. There are 40 levels, times 4 game modes.

      • Udder Fright

        The game should automatically go on to the next level. Dumping you out to the screen every time is non-intuitive and feels like a bug, especially as that screen is so cryptic. Nice game though.

  • Xeno

    Select other stages by tapping the boxes on the title screen. Change the game mode by tapping one of the top 4 boxes - you have a different ship, and the enemies are different.
    Thanks for RRootage! I would have gladly paid $5 for this..

  • Elvis

    I have an iPod touch 2g, and my games are never saved.... Whenever I complete a level and then quit the app, all the high scores and stuff are reset when I come back... Anyone know a way I can fix this?

  • hay, I'm cool ^_~

    if you are going to acknowledge trash like Ikaruga you should at least say that the GW and PSY modes are based on Giga Wing and Psyvariar respectively.

    • Someshmo

      Ikaruga? Trash?! Them's fightin' words!

  • David Carlson

    this is good 4/5
    and PSY mode is from Psyvariar