Category Archives: Shooter

Taito is one of the most historically significant companies in gaming history, and that is almost entirely due to Space Invaders. The 1978 pioneer of shoot-em-ups kicked off a genuine worldwide craze, and Taito watched their coffers fill with cash hand over fist. Plenty of great games followed, but none would have the impact or financial success of Space Invaders. Taito helped create the arcade scene with that game's focus on achieving high scores. Sadly, the company never quite got the swing of making home games, and their relevance diminished right alongside the arcades they helped to build in the first place. They weren't even able to hold onto their crown in the shoot-em-up genre for very long, but to their credit, they kept right on swinging anyway...

During the mid and late '90s Taito released a trilogy of awesome scrolling shooters starting with 1994's RayForce, then 1997's RayStorm, and finally 1998's RayCrisis which was the third game in the series but actually a prequel to RayForce. Many moons ago, in January of 2012 to be exact, Taito released a port of RayForce [$6.99] onto the App Store. Shooters worked well on the touchscreen and RayForce was a welcome addition to the iPhone's library of shooters. Fans of the series figured that the rest of the trilogy would make a good fit for mobile too, and indeed in June of 2012 the iOS version of RayStorm [$9.99] was released. That just left RayCrisis and later in 2012… it never came. Nor did it come in 2013, or 2014, or 2105. Not even in 2016! What the heck, Taito? Well, it took 5 years, but 2017 turned out to be the year as RayCrisis [$9.99] finally hit the App Store earlier today...




This comes straight from my "Wanted to Post Last Week but Didn't Have Time" file, but it's still worth mentioning that Sunnyside Games have a BIG update coming for their extremely stylish arcade shooter Towaga [$2.99] and last week they also updated their excellent stock-trading twitch game The Firm [$0.99] for the coming 32-bit Appocalypse. First up is Towaga which launched way back in January with fantastic visuals and animation and core gameplay that was solid but felt like it needed to be fleshed out just a bit more. This forthcoming update, called the New Moon update and detailed by Sunnyside in our forums, looks to address that by adding unlockable Masks and Outfits which each give special abilities to your character, new enemy types, new bosses, an in-game perk and spell upgrade system, and TONS more. Oh, and of course the much-requested iPad support is in this update too. Check out these animated .gifs from the new version of Towaga; the top one shows the new Bump special move and the bottom shows the UI for selecting your Masks and Outfits...

In January of last year FDG Games and SHD Games released an unassuming little sniper game called Lonewolf [Free] to the App Store. While the sniper genre had been absolutely oversaturated on mobile, Lonewolf managed to stand out from the pack with its unique noir-inspired visuals and an emphasis on telling an interesting story, which was rare for that type of game. We liked Lonewolf a lot in our review and awarded it our Game of the Week back then, and it was pretty universally loved by all who played it. The only problem was that the game ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and players were anxious to find out what happens next in a promised upcoming new chapter… except that chapter never came. ..

In January of 2012, Taito released their classic 1994 arcade shoot 'em up RayForce [$6.99] to the App Store, and about 6 months later they released its 1997 sequel RayStorm [$9.99] as well. Shooters like these always translated well to the touchscreen and it seemed pretty likely that Taito would be bringing the third game in the trilogy RayCrisis to mobile too. I mean, why wouldn't they bring the whole trilogy over, and if the previous Ray game release schedule was to be trusted, I would have bet they'd release RayCrisis at the end of 2012. Well, that release schedule was not to be trusted. RayCrisis never came, and while both RayForce and RayStorm were excellent additions to the App Store's shooter catalogue, they sat around virtually untouched after their release and were never updated with any of the modern trappings that came with newer and better iOS hardware and software...

The iOS platform has been home to some pretty great space games. Some of them lean more into exploration and trading in the style of Elite or Wing Commander: Privateer. Others are pure shoot-em-ups in the grand tradition of Atari Star Wars and StarFox. Subdivision Infinity [$4.99], the latest release from prolific publisher Crescent Moon, is far closer to the latter type. You're not on rails, but you are generally operating within a set area for each mission. While there are some side missions involving mining and exploring, the meat of the game is in shooting down enemies before they do the same to you. It's not the deepest game around, but it knows what it wants to do and does it well...

Hey there, friends! I have a question for you all. Do you like shooting lasers at things in space? I'm going to assume you do because if you don't, you are dead to me. At least, the me that is writing this article, hoping this is very salient to your interests. Phew, I'm rambling here. It's just that Subdivision Infinity [$4.99] from Crescent Moon Games has hit the App Store a touch early and I'm very excited about that. It's even having one of those launch sale things, so you can get it for 40% off what will be its eventual regular price...

Limbic Software's original Zombie Gunship ranks right up there with games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja as one of the most successful and sticky mobile games released in the earlier days of the App Store. In fact, the way that it has maintained popularity in the nearly 6 years since its initial launch makes it seem like there's no need for a Zombie Gunship sequel. However, 6 years is a long time and sometimes it's nice to be able to start fresh using all the knowledge you've gained from having such a successful app. That feels like the case with Zombie Gunship Survival [Free], the sequel that's a collaboration between Limbic and Flaregames that we've been following for the past couple of years and which just went live worldwide today, two days ahead of schedule. On first blush it doesn't seem too far removed from the first game in terms of core mechanics, but there are many new features added in and a brand new structure that makes it more well suited to today's free to play market than the original game ever was...

'Steredenn' Review - Horns Out For This Roguelike Shoot 'Em Up

Sometimes good ideas don't come together into being good final products. What sounds good on paper can be lackluster in execution. Not so much with Steredenn [$3.99], which sounded amazing on paper! A roguelike combined with a shoot 'em up, with a heavy metal soundtrack? It's like Pixelnest said "How can we make a game that Carter Dotson would enjoy?" Then, they made it. Of course, they didn't do exactly that since it didn't release on mobile for about a year and a half after its original release, and I am kicking myself for having not played it until now. Well, better late than never: Steredenn is fantastic fun for fans of roguelikes, shoot 'em ups, and/or heavy metal...

Retro-Inspired Shoot-Em-Up 'Enceladus' Is the Next Game From the Developers of 'Guns of Mercy'

Despite only releasing action shooter Guns of Mercy [Free] back in March of this year, developers Storybird are not ones to rest on their laurels after an impressive four star review earlier this month, and are already looking to the future. Guns of Mercy support through impending content updates is slated to remain, with a major addition on the cards in the very near future, poised to add a brand new game mode and numerous other features to this already value-packed colorful arcade release. However, Storybird have suggested on our forums that after this next update, they will begin to work on a new project alongside Guns of Mercy, in the form of an upcoming PC and iOS shoot-em-up project titled Enceladus. ..

Quantum Revenge [$1.99] is a game that caught our attention way back in January with its manga-inspired visuals and hectic dual-stick space shooter action. It launched at the beginning of April but unfortunately all of its promise was countered with lots of bugs and some strange design decisions. You could tell there was a really good game buried somewhere in Quantum Revenge, but its problems resulted in our middling review. However, in just the short amount of time since the game's release, developer Realtech VR has gone in hard with updating Quantum Revenge and it's a much better experience because of it. While they've mostly focused on tweaks and bug fixes in updates thus far, next week will bring version 1.1 of Quantum Revenge which will bring a couple of cool new additions which you can see in the trailer below. ..

Back before Firi Games put themselves on the map with Phoenix [Free] in October of 2010 and its excellent sequel Phoenix 2 [Free] in July of last year, they had released an unassuming shoot 'em up called Flare Elite [$0.99] in March 2010. While pretty basic overall, Flare Elite did lay the groundwork for the later Phoenix games, and in fact used a pretty novel energy system in place of a more traditional life bar. No, not a free to play energy system, but one that required you to constantly be defeating enemies in order to suck up the orbs they leave behind and keep your constantly diminishing energy level above zero. It was a fun concept and game, but never really set the world on fire and with Firi going full steam into the original Phoenix development Flare Elite has never received even one update. ..

'Protostrike', an Upcoming Online Arena Shooter, Is Looking for Beta Testers on Our Forums

Back in January, we brought you a first glimpse of upcoming online arena shooter Protostrike, which looked to make an impact in a somewhat overlooked genre with some intense real-time action on the App Store. With the ability to use numerous weapons and special attacks to eliminate your opponents, as well as the novel use of verticality in being able to jump up on buildings to evade a potential pursuer, Protostrike looked particularly promising when it requested testers for its initial alpha test period earlier this year. After months of balancing mechanics and tweaking the servers, Protostrike is finally ready for an upcoming closed beta test, and the developers are looking for aspiring mercenaries on our forums to dive into the action and give feedback on the game...

One of the more confusing things about analyzing games in modern times is that they can change and improve thanks to the nature of updates and digital distribution. Guns of Mercy [Free] hasn't necessarily seen dramatic overhauls since its initial release, but it's become a much better game, and a free download well worth checking out. This action game has you fending off endless waves of enemies, using a gun that you can aim in a 180 degree circle. One hit kills you, but shields, powerups, and a giant mecha can help you out along the way, as you fight ever more dangerous enemies and giant bosses. You collect coins, and these all go toward upgrades to help you blow up stuff better. It's a turbo-charged shooter, and it's worth the download just to check out, though if you're playing now, you're getting a changed and improved experience than those who first gave it a shot...

As most of you probably know, it's tough covering the onslaught of new mobile game releases on a daily basis. We do the best we can to be as thorough as we can when we put together our weekly new games lists, but inevitably there are games that launch after that list is posted or over the weekend which I try to group lovingly into a "leftovers" pile on Mondays and sort through to see if there's anything interesting that we missed. Today I came across an email sent to us over the weekend from Lemondo letting us know that their PS4/Steam/Wii U multiplayer platform arena shooter WinKings [$4.99] had made its way to iOS. I hadn't heard of this game before but the videos looked pretty awesome, as you can see in their launch trailer for the desktop and console version...

The idea of a team that needs to not only work together on a human level, but literally form a construct that's bigger than themselves is fascinating. The most obvious example is probably Voltron, but even something mechanical like Transformers'  Constructicons had to form Devastator. It's a seemingly timeless concept too as nearly all of these tropes have returned, from the new Voltron Netflix series to the Power Rangers film reboot. Quantum Revenge [$1.99] tries to tap into that wizardry in the form of a twin-stick shooter, but doesn't really hit all of the same notes...

If you're up for some space shooting action, Broadside [$1.99] might be for you. This just-released game drops you in the middle of a three-faction war, and you have to survive frantic battles while constantly upgrading your ship and weapons an in effort to stay ahead of the (literally) cut-throat competition. Because of the three-faction thing going on, you'll have one faction working alongside you and two other ones trying to blow up to smithereens. How the whole three-faction thing plays out remains to be seen, but I like that you won't be playing the lone wolf like in most other games of the genre...

Saturday to Monday is normally the quietest period for App Store releases - the ridiculous March Indie Week aside, the majority of developers tend to save their releases for later in the week when more potential players, and most importantly Apple, are most alert to new game launches. That being said, it's always great to wake up at the beginning of the week to a big new release; Quantum Revenge [$1.99], which launched on Sunday, has certainly kicked off April to a solid start for iOS gaming. The manga-inspired twin stick shooter that we first wrote about back in January features intense, chaotic and explosive mech battles with some stunning futuristic graphics, and is finally available now on the App Store for a launch price of only $2.99...

Back in November of last year, we brought you news of Cover Fire [Free], a particularly interesting on rails shooter that incorporated 3D Touch controls to distinguish it from the abundance of similar titles on the App Store. While the 3D Touch feature, which debuted on iOS with 2015's iPhone 6S, was particularly convenient productivity-wise as it let you use various shortcuts for many of the App Store's staple apps, it hasn't had as big an impact on mobile gaming as it perhaps should have. With the capacity for variable inputs based on how hard you touch the iPhone's touch screen, there is a lot of potential in 3D Touch as a future pillar of iOS applications. Cover Fire's use of gently tapping to aim and pressing hard to shoot is therefore extremely refreshing to see, and for this reason alone is worth trying out now it has today finally launched worldwide on the App Store for free...

I'll give this to Capcom, they sure picked an unusual bunch for their latest mobile initiative. Given the original game's importance in Capcom's history, 1942 Mobile [$1.99] made a certain amount of sense. It was their first big hit, and shooters tend to play well with the mobile audience. Ghosts 'n Goblins [$1.99] is certainly a significant game but it wouldn't be my first choice to adapt to touch controls. Capcom disagreed enough that the next game in the series is Ghouls 'n Ghosts Mobile. The meat in that Arthur sandwich, however, might be the oddest choice of the lot. Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile [$1.99] is a technically-sound port of the game once known outside of Japan simply as Commando. It was a decent hit in its time, and it's certainly an influential game, but it manages to suffer from the negative points of both prior Capcom Mobile ports...

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