Most iOS gamers know that when they need a dose of craziness one of Llamasoft’s games is typically a good place to start. If you are itching to get your fix of Jeff Minter’s brand of gaming then you’re in luck, as his latest title Super Ox Wars [$1.99] has hit the App Store.
And, typical of a Llamasoft title, there is a very retro-inspired arcade game flashing brightly on the exterior, making you long for the arcade days of old and also making you sort of feel like you’re on drugs. This is what Llamasoft excels at.
However, like their other titles, dig a little bit past the surface and a surprising amount of depth lies in Super Ox Wars. It’s a vertical shooter that employs an almost Ikaruga-like polarity switching mechanic that sees you utilizing either red or blue firepower based on items collected during a level.
Each color represents an ox battling for dominance right below your score, and the more items you collect for one color the more powerful it becomes. Picking up the opposite color quickly swings the balance the other way, and you can focus on building up either color's score or both at the same time. The game tracks the scores of each color individually in addition to a combined score.
There are Game Center leaderboards for each type of overall score as well as a number of achievements. Also, the simple relative touch control works great, which is another hallmark of a Llamasoft title.
Chances are if you have enjoyed Jeff Minter’s iOS offerings in the past, then you’ll likely enjoy Super Ox Wars. And, if you want to ignore all the scoring business and just blast away at ships in space along to psychedelic visuals, then Super Ox Wars is good for that too. Also, be sure to check out what people have been saying about the game in our forums. The iCade is supported too, if you're looking for a new game to play with it.
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