At the beginning of the week, we told you that Cave's Dodonpachi Maximum would be heading to the App Store, and as of today it is now available worldwide. Dodonpachi Maximum [$11.99] is an original shooter created specifically for mobile, arriving exclusively on the Windows Phone 7 platform back in April. It takes elements from previous Dodonpachi games and slaps them into a "bullet simulator" to offer sort of a best-of-Cave compilation.

We've noted before how Cave's earlier shooters, like the original Bug Princess [$4.99 / Free], are great entry points for newbies since their scoring systems are generally less complex. However, I'd now argue that Dodonpachi Maximum is the best place for a bullet-hell beginner to start. Since it's an original title, it uses sharp, colorful visuals rather than the pixel art of their previous games, which are often designed for much different hardware and resolutions, so can look a bit rough on iOS screens.

This means that Dodonpachi Maximum has a nice contrast and fantastic clarity that can really help you see exactly where bullets are and exactly where to avoid them with your ship's hotbox. It may not have the same kind of charm that their pixel art games do, but it's definitely more functional and actually feels like a "bullet simulator" as the game implies. Plus, it's pretty cool to see a Cave game in such a different style.

That doesn't mean Dodonpachi Maximum is strictly for the beginner, though. There's still multiple difficulty settings and 16(!) different Game Center leaderboards to compete on, one for every level and a grand total leaderboard. Players in our forums seem to be really enjoying it so far, and we'll continue to put it through its paces. Right now it appears to be another winner from Cave, though definitely quite different from their past releases. The game will be on sale through the weekend for $6.99 before jumping up to its normal price of $11.99, so if you're interested you can save yourself a few bucks by grabbing it while it's on sale.

  • bigrand1

    This looks really good, as all Cave's shmups do, but can any of you tell me if this is better than Espgaluda 2? I enjoy these, although I admit I'm not the most rabid fan of the genre, and don't have room for more than one of these since they're usually pretty big games.

    • Benegesserit

      Do you have an 8GB device or something?

      • ducksFANjason

        Why would that matter? I have a 64GB 4S and I can't fit even half of my total apps on it... It's an addiction and I'm slightly ashamed 🙁

      • bigrand1

        Nope. I have an ipad3 with 64GB. I have NO music on it and STILL have to dump-to-get all the time! I have this addiction big-time and would love a 128GB device. Spend so much money on this it's not funny!

    • Phoenix24

      It is an amazing game. Can't really compare to Espgaluda 2 as this is very different from other Cave shooters, designed for mobiles. The scoring is much more simplistic with 5 ships (2 need to be unlocked) and 15 levels with scoring resetting to zero each stage. Graphics are much sharper than Cave's other universal apps, more like the HD versions of DDPR and Espgaluda 2, with bullets standing out from the background. File size is 308MB installed and worth every kb. Game has an easy mode for newbies where scores don't count in the leaderboards and I guess there will be hidden features as usual. Well worth the early adopter sale price.

      • bigrand1

        Thanks, that's really good input! May just have to switch to that one.

  • tops2

    Do anyone have trouble installing this on the iPod touch 5? A few AppStore reviews mention they can't install on the iPod touch 5..

    • Sandpeelin

      It says it needs a digital compass that isn't on them so it won't let them download it.

  • Bridget

    Too bad this wont run on older devices.... that's going to knock off alot of potential players.

    Which is odd coming from Cave;  their previous games were all playable even on older machines, with only the HD versions being the exception.  This time though, there is no version that'll run on older devices.

  • Sebastian Gomez

    My sis saw me playing this game on my iPh4 and she was like "I want that on my iPod!"... Now she plays DoDonPachi Daifukatsu since this one won't run on her device... So far, I've loved it *-*