After seeing Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels [$2.99] for the first time, you might be wondering why another dual stick shooter is necessary on iOS, considering the hundreds of others already available. The answer isn’t always an easy one, but let’s just say that Monster Shooter shows why we shouldn’t just be writing off the genre altogether.
Monster Shooter tells the story of alien battles from one planet to another, all with the ultimate goal of saving a kitten with a runny nose. These naughty aliens want to wreak havoc and torture the poor kitty, and are even traveling anywhere in the galaxy as to not be captured.
As the kitty rescuer, you travel from planet to planet in a level-based format, and are shooting down enemies in a dual stick style shooter. The controls of a shooter are of the upmost importance, and they work well in this game especially with the multiple options available. If you’re finding the aiming to be a difficult affair, you can turn on the auto aim option and then you’ll only have to tap when you want to shoot, rather than where. Having the option of a fixed d-pad is also a nice touch, meaning you can play in whatever way suits your style best.
One of the most polarizing topics of discussion on our forums is the game’s option to pay for additional upgrades and weapons through in-app purchases. As you play each level, you will consistently pick-up in-game cash that you can spend on these items anyway, and fortunately there seems to be enough cash in each level to purchase the items during the natural progression of play, making the actual buying of cash through IAP feel largely optional.
The upgrades and power-ups available in the shop amp up the gameplay in glorious fashion too, providing you with nukes, grenades, or stim-packs that could make all the difference when you’re caught in a tough situation. You can even buy a few select items while in the heat of battle, if you didn’t prepare well enough.
Even more interesting than the power-ups you can buy are the abilities you can only earn by leveling up, which range from a higher fire rate, more damage, or more cash dropped by enemies. These abilities are fantastic and can help out greatly while playing, but the way of unlocking them could use some work. The problem is that you can only unlock them while playing the game, meaning you have to stop mid-level, potentially costing you precious health or combo momentum.
Where Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels differentiates itself from other shooters on iOS is in its tight control, and cartoonish graphical style. The animation is fluid, and each planet has a distinct look to keep things fresh. Being on both iPad and iPhone as a universal app also helps, as the larger screen of an iPad lends itself well for keeping track of enemies, and a larger d-pad area for better control.
Packing in over 60 levels across 3 distinct planets, Monster Shooter is likely to hold on to your attention for quite a while. This is not even including the endless survival mode, which could potentially last you forever. Adding even more to the longevity are the in-game side missions (of Jetpack Joyride [Free] fame) that you can complete along your path of destruction. Game Center achievements and leaderboards should be standard fare by now, and are included.
Exploding alien faces with an awesome new weapon you just purchased almost never gets old, meaning you’ll probably keep playing Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels for hours on end. Packing in a huge amount of content and little in the way of problems means that you should probably grab this one on your next iOS shopping spree.
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