The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
I always appreciate a good top-down shooter. It’s just one of those genres that has always worked really well on mobile as it lends itself well to touchscreen controls. I also appreciate a good survival horror game, but there are FAR less of those on mobile compared to top-down shooters. So it’s quite a treat when a developer combines those two genres into an atmospheric survival horror game that plays super well on mobile due to its top-down nature. That describes Star Diffusion in a nutshell, a new top-down shooter with the heart of a survival horror game that dropped on the App Store this week.
Star Diffusion starts like you’d imagine a sci-fi horror game might. You try landing at your home space port only to find there’s no response from the control tower. The giant space station garage door is just… open, so you decide to fly in only to find all the power off and not a person in sight. You spend a bit of time fumbling around in the dark trying to figure out what is going on and what happened to everybody. While you’re exploring, “something" damages your ship making it impossible to use, so you load up your ship’s AI onto your wrist and continue forging on into the spaceport to get to the bottom of things. To make matters even more tense, you’ve got a daughter who lives here that you’re desperate to find and make sure is safe.
Pretty quickly into all of this, you find that the “something" that attacked your ship is actually these evil creatures who are lightning fast and deadly as hell. Also the humans who you’ve come across appear to be in zombie-like states and do nothing but try to attack you. Star Diffusion is all about exploring the space station, doing some light puzzle solving to open the path forward, and trying your best to fend off all your attackers using limited ammo and health resources. In terms of vibe I’d describe it as Dead Space meets Resident Evil, and while the text dialogue seems extremely stiff (due to non-English speaking developers, I think) the overall story and setting is intriguing enough to keep you plowing forward.
On weird quirk about Star Diffusion is in terms of how it was released. There are two different versions: One of the US, UK, Canada and China that is a limited free trial version with the rest of the game unlocked via IAP, as well as some additional “cheater" IAP options which basically offer things like unlimited ammo and armor. Stuff that would kind of ruin the fun in my opinion. The rest of the world gets a pay upfront version that contains the whole game but also includes the optional cheater IAP stuff. Sort of a confusing release strategy, but by and large seems untainted by its optional IAP. I’ll drop links for both below, and you can read more impressions about Star Diffusion from players in our forums.
US, UK, Canada, and China: Star Diffusion X
The Rest of the World: Star Diffusion