Eek! Bugs! Everyone hates them. Flies. Ants. Mosquitos. Nature’s way of pestering you for no reason whatsoever. Outside, sure, that’s fine, we’re in their turf. But you know what’s annoying? When they come inside where you live, causing your dog to jump like crazy trying to catch them, and generally being a nuisance.
Clearly, the person in Home Invasion [$0.99] feels the same way, and they go off on a streak of trying to kill insects left, right and center. Developed by NoCompGaming, Home Invasion can best be described as fast and frantic, almost like a take on tower defense gameplay. But instead of building things to stop an increasingly fast swarm, you tap to kill.
Graphically, the game is cutesy and has a cartoon look, evident by the flies that wear helmets and flying goggles. The various insects are well drawn. All the rooms are hand-drawn as well, showing the developer’s attention to detail. There’s an upbeat soundtrack accompanying it too, that sounds similar to the music you’d hear in The Sims. However, the tracks seem to be short, and repeat themselves before one round is over.
The game starts you off simply enough, swatting flies in your living room. They come at you from all sides. The first few levels, naturally, are pretty basic and introduce you to what the game is about. You sport a utility belt that has all your tools; fly swatter, boot, pesticide, and so forth.
Each insect has strengths and weaknesses, as well as a small health bar above them. Flies, for example, have no strengths, but are easily killed with the fly swatter. Ants, meanwhile, are strong against the fly swatter, but succumb to the boot. In this instance, when faced with ants and flies, the boot is your choice.
However, while you have different weapons to work with, it doesn't seem to make a difference which you use. Despite most of the insects having a strength against the flyswatter, I managed to get through a majority of the levels while only using that weapon. As the first game from a new developer, perhaps it’s just an oversight.
Unfortunately, each round is the same; whenever a new weapon is introduced, you use that weapon, which is not only good for the newly introduced insect, but also is effective against the rest, even though they shouldn't be. There is no variation at all. You do have a special meter, Spaz Out, that fills when you get overwhelmed. This causes your screen to wobble, and makes killing easier for about ten seconds. However, unless I purposely sat back and waited for it to fill, I never saw it fill in past the “P”.
Each round gives you 90 seconds to amass a certain score that’ll let you proceed. Luckily, even if you fall under the score limit, there are bonuses you can achieve, such as smashing a certain amount of ants, or not letting more than twenty insects leave the screen, which act as a multiplier and contributes to the final amount.
At the end of each round, your score is totaled. You’re told how many points were needed to pass, how many insects you killed, how many left the screen (escaped, basically), and your bonus points. Sadly, you have to watch your score be added up, there’s no way to fast forward it or just skip to the part where it shows you what you earned. A minor complaint, to be sure, and doesn't detract from the game much.
You progress through different rooms of your house. Each room has six levels, totaling 30, but the developer has said more levels will be coming in future updates. Starting off in the living room, you kill flies and ants, then proceed to the kitchen, where termites and crickets are introduced. By the time you reach the final room, you’ll be battling flies, ants, termites, crickets, bees, wasps and roaches.
The game will normally run you $0.99, but as it happens Home Invasion is currently on a freebie promotion. And whether paid or free once you have the game that’s it, as there are no IAPs to peruse. There are also two modes in addition to the campaign; Infested (survival) and Insect Report. However, neither of these modes are available as of yet, so I cannot comment on how they perform. The game uses Game Center for achievements and leaderboards.
Home Invasion boils down to tapping the screen repeatedly, and killing a variety of insects in different rooms. There’s not much more to it than that. It’s a good casual pick-up-and-play kind of game with some inconsistencies and missing features. With that being said, this is the first version of a first game by a new developer, so hopefully some of these issues will be addressed, but as it is now, it seems polished yet unfinished, both at once.
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