A 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.