touchforce1A lot of fuss is made over how difficult touchscreen controls can be, but one genre I think has actually benefitted from running just beneath a capacitive touch slab of glass is the scrolling shoot 'em up. In those games, your ship is essentially an extension of your thumb or finger, meaning you can move faster and with a finer degree of finesse than you can with a joystick or d-pad. It also makes the traditionally difficult genre much more approachable, another reason it seems shooters have flourished on the App Store. But despite the nice fit, it doesn't really feel like there's been any attempts to radically upend the formula and really play to the uniqueness of iOS devices.

Superstar Games has decided to take a stab at it with their upcoming shooter Touch Force. It's built around the multi-touch of iOS devices, and whatever fingers you touch to the screen creates an independently controlled ship. Throw all five fingers in the mix and you get a bullet-raining death machine. Check it out.

While interesting, I'm not sure how the multi-touch aspect will end up working in practice. I mean, half the fun of shooters is narrowly avoiding waves of bullets as you dish out the pain to your enemies. Simply lifting your fingers off the screen when bullets are coming towards you seems like a copout, but maybe it'll be balanced in a way so you can't overly rely on it. Besides the multi-touch stuff, I also like the clean look and huge bosses on display in Touch Force. Hopefully it will all come together to make for a unique shooter experience on iOS, and we shouldn't have to wait too ing to find that out as Touch Force is already submitted and awaiting Apple approval. Check out the forums for more.

  • bigrand1

    That's what I thought about the 'cop-out' thing you spoke of by lifting your fingers, at first. But the more I watched the video, I was more concerned with wiping the drool from the corner of my mouth as I was grinning ear-to-ear! I'm totally excited to play this game and the mechanics look so fresh and fun!! Dig the music and retro sound effects, too! Can't wait for this one, man!

  • Adam Betts

    Pretty original idea for a shooter. Using all 5 fingers are going to be tough.

  • DaQuieTruth

    Brilliant and soon they'll have a game that requires 10 fingers, but two Iphone's to play MuHuHhhaahahahahahah (evil Laugh). Side the the following comment is absurd.

  • hakamhakam

    Playing this on iPhone or iPod sound impossible, it probably much better on iPad.

  • Sojourn

    Reminds me of Omium -- one of the first two-player iPad games. This is another take, of course, but the idea of using multiple fingers to change the intensity of your shooting attack is definitely reminiscent.

  • Onikage725

    Could be good! It looks like keeping your fingers off runs the risk of failure or a penalty of some kind. I could even imagine it being better in some instances to stay on screen and dodge rather than losing your trail and accidentally materializing yourself in the line of fire.

    • rpgmind

      Yeah I saw a timer countdown briefly towards the end

  • Scot Damn

    I'm all for using a touchscreen to it's strengths. But cramming 5 fingers on a mobile device spells disaster. Not only cramping fingers - I can already hear iPhones hitting pavement. Definitely interested in this though.

    All developers are not created equal. So unique ideas alone won't make a success. Talented designers are what make games work well. Hopefully this game is in good hands.

  • Himanshu Modi

    Very interesting. Firstly, maybe that "cop out" will be built in as a genuine strategy to survive by design? Who knows.

    Secondly, agreed that 5 fingers on an iphone is too many. But then I always play shooters exclusively on iPad. So doesnt make much difference to me. I have never figured out how people play them on the phone. If anything shooters are the only reason I'd want a bigger phone for.

    • bigrand1

      Same here. Play my shooters and actually most of my stuff on my trusty iPad too. Got a Note 3, but still prefer the bigger screen.

  • Adams Immersive

    Maybe they'll have separate leaderboards for different finger numbers! Two fingers/ships sounds promising to me.

    • CzechCongo

      That's what she said.

  • JPhilipp

    I would guess the more fingers, the higher the risk enemies collide and kill you, so that could be the balancing. And while it might be easy to lift all fingers when an enemy arrives, perhaps the pro trick here is to only lift some fingers as needed to avoid debris, thus cause maximum damage in the meantime. Let's see, I'm happy they make real use of multitouch! (Check out The Signal for my own little try with that.)

    One issue facing developers of multitouch ideas in general is that the iPad has a few OS-native multitouch features you can't override, so you need to guide the player toward disabling that in their setting... or else your app will be swiped away or closed and such.