A Space Shooter (iPhone) Review: A Tough Challenging Shmup

Frima Studio’s A Space Shooter is an interesting addition to a crowded shmup genre on the iTunes App Store. For one, it has a protagonist that players would love to hate (more on that later) and more importantly, the game introduces some gameplay elements that make up for, IMHO, problems introduced by its control scheme.

In order to move the ship about, players will need to place their finger over the ship and slide in the direction that they want it to go. The game can be played with just one thumb (the ship auto-fires), but having the ship obscured by your very own thumb leaves you pretty open to unintentionally flying into enemy fire…or even enemy ships.

This should be the reason why the developers put in a health bar for your ship, and I’ve not seen one in a shmup since…Raptor: Call of the Shadows; but in context this is at least better than just providing lives with every hit resulting in a life lost. This however doesn’t mean that the game is a pushover. A Space Shooters feature some of the more memorable shmup enemy units and bosses in recent times.

The gunships with their beam cannon thingies are pretty cool but if the enemy ships were to up their firing rate, the game would have been a bullet hell shooter instead. Destroyed enemies drop orbs and power-ups that can be collected.

Orbs are used to fill up a gauge, which once activated when filled, it will cause the player’s ship to go into Overdrive mode and destroy everything on screen. Power-ups on the other hand can temporarily upgrade the ship weapons for a short while, unleash missile barrages or simply introduce an area effect such as causing enemy ships to slow down, making them easy pickings.

Permanent upgrades on the other hand can be purchased at the shop, which can be accessed in between levels. Special mention needs to be made about the main character, Commander P. Jefferson. He is loud and obnoxious and he breaks the fourth wall by complaining about the player when the ship gets hit by enemy fire. LOL.

A Space Shooter is a fast space-based shmup by which if you can put up with the control scheme, you’ll find it to be an addictive challenge. Nine Over Ten 9/10 rates A Space Shooter at a 4 out of 5. CHECK IT OUT! The game is available for free on the iTunes App Store and players can unlock the full game via in-app purchase: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/a-space-shooter/id449164830?mt=8

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