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.

  • frizzaro

    Really cool. The idea of ​​the logo and the "ox war" is because of the Festival of Parintins, a Brazilian folkloric event. The ox is the red "Capricious" and the blue ox is called "Guaranteed". (Check this to understand the festival: 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parintins_Folklore_Festival)

  • frizzaro

    Really cool. The idea of ​the logo and the "ox war" is due of the Festival of Parintins, a Brazilian folkloric event. The ox is the red "Capricious" and the blue ox is called "Guaranteed". Check more at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parintins_Folklore_Festival

  • Furtin

    Its an absolute psychedelic blast from the past! Sounds are awesome!

    People, get every game from Llamasoft and gain more carma and a better life! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Donovan/660749692 Kevin Donovan

    This may be blasphemous but I wish Jeff would have a go at making a modern shooter, just for a change instead of the retro inspired stuff. He is obviously extremely tallented, always has gameplay nailed down perfectly and seems he can always squeeze the best out of any piece of hardware, I just wish he would move away from the retro graphics, just once.

  • http://twitter.com/Governmentyard Lord of the Pants

    Well, "Project Minotaur" on iOS is all about tweaking various old machine styles of gfx. Have you tried Gridrunner Revolution and Space Giraffe on PC, which both use a lot of graphical grunt?

  • jindofox

    Super Ox Wars is just what I wanted, even though I did not know I wanted it. Fast, fun, beautiful retro graphics, with SFX that transport me back thirty years. 
    The RSS feed for this item has the wrong video ("Monday Brief") embedded in it. Youngsters: if you want "modern graphics" (whatever that means) there are other places to get that. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Donovan/660749692 Kevin Donovan

      Lol @ youngsters, I'm 46! ;>)

    • http://www.uplayblog.com/ Bianca Mól

      I'm 21 and still I really liked Super Ox Wars. I have a tendency to love these retro games,I guess...

  • http://twitter.com/scottish_usa Alexander R

    This is great, really great.  I hope they do more 2d vertical shooters, I believe this is the first in the history of llamasoft.