Just a couple of weeks ago we brought you the first screens and info from the upcoming sequel to early App Store classic Blue Defense! titled Blue Defense: Second Wave. Since then, we've been able to spend some time with a work-in-progress build of the game and check out how Second Wave plays compared to the original. So far, it's shaping up really nicely. It takes the core gameplay of the first game and adds some interesting new features and a lot more content, retaining the simplicity that made the original such a joy to play but adding just enough depth to offer a really different experience.
The basics of Second Wave remain the same. You'll fight off waves of enemies with a perpetually shooting cannon firing from the center of the planet which you're trying to protect. A population of about 7 billion people act as the life of your planet, with that number dwindling with every enemy that penetrates your defense. If the population hits zero, the planet is lost and it's game over.
One of the biggest changes this time around is the ability to fire multiple cannons at once. Touching the screen at any time brings up an aiming reticule and a new stream of fire, with multitouch support for adding up to five additional streams along with the first cannon. A quick double tap on the screen locks an aiming reticule in place at that point on the screen, which can be dragged around and set anywhere you want to direct more firepower. You can set up to ten of these locked streams in addition to the five you can add by touching. Coupled with the normal cannon, that's a whopping sixteen streams of fire at your disposal. These screens were taken from an iPhone 4 and showcase the Retina Display support in Second Wave (click to enlarge):
While this may seem like an unfair advantage, the game intelligently balances this out by making every stream share from the same pool of firepower. For example, one stream of fire will rapidly spray many bullets in one direction. Adding a stream cuts this in half, with less bullets firing more slowly out of each stream. This gets divided with each stream added, and by the time you get to the full sixteen, each stream is very slowly shooting just one bullet out at a time.
The ability to add streams adds a tremendous amount of strategy in how you choose to play the game. It's such a big help to be able to quickly direct additional fire towards incoming enemies from any direction, or lock a stream of fire towards a dense group of enemies. Besides the ability to add streams of fire, you also get a new weapon in the form of the planet cannon. Touching your planet and swiping in the direction you want to fire launches a humongous beam of destruction that's as wide as the planet itself. The planet cannon vaporizes anything in it's path, but comes with limited uses.
Here's a short video of the preview build (no sound in this build):
These additional offensive options take Second Wave to a new level, and I haven't even gone into the gauntlet mode yet. Gauntlet mode is essentially a campaign that has you defeating set levels with predetermined numbers of waves and various difficulties, but we'll leave some of this for when the game is released. The major stuff is done and it's just entering the polishing phases now, so it shouldn't be too much longer before we'll be taking a look at the final version of Blue Defense: Second Wave.