Reviewed: August 6, 2010
Released: July 17, 2010
App Store Price: $2.99
If only the gameplay were as original as the presentation, Inkvaders HD could have been a contender for one of the best iPad shooters I’ve played this year. From the opening screen where a giant photorealistic finger is assembling the menus to the goofy sprite-based, Flash-style, side-scrolling mechanics, Inkvaders just oozes with a style not unlike those old 1950’s sci-fi movies. It also seems to be a very close cousin to a game called Alien Hominid; a Flash game from 2002 that was updated for the Xbox 360 in 2007.|
Featuring a macho every-day hero in a spacesuit, and countless aliens who look like they escaped from the set of Mars Attacks, and more weapons and ammo than can fit in a single vending machine, Inkvaders is a relentless side-scrolling shooter that is simple to play and nearly impossible to win, but is addictive enough to keep trying...at least if you have nothing better to do.
The concept is simple. Walk from left to right blasting away at aliens who appear from the sides of the screen or beam down from above. You have a jetpack for extending jumps and hovers – useful to grab meteors and escape an alien crossfire. Specially marked crates offer a vareity of power-ups and vending machines pause the chaos and allow you to purchase new weapons and refill your ammo.
There are 30 levels spread across three themes and environments, but the game does suffer from “more of the same” all too quickly. And while the aliens do mix up their costumes from time to time, even they start to get boring after awhile. And I had to wonder why they had red blood – we all know alien blood is green.
The controls are simple and positioned perfectly for normal size hands. Tap on the arrows to move and tap on the fire or jetpack icons to use either of those items. An ammo counter at the top also serves as a tap icon to switch weapons.
I love the graphics and art style. Animation is intentionally minimal, almost like construction paper cutouts being moved across an art book – even more primitive than South Park. The violence, blood, and flying body parts is so over-the-top it is humorous, but it could be an issue for some parents despite the comic book depiction. There is some great sci-fi style music and awesome sound effects for lasers and guns and some crazy electro-bolt that turns my guy into meaty chunks before the “finger of god’ swipes in to flick him off the screen.
I had a bit of fun with Inkvaders. I’m not sure it was $3 worth of fun, and I’m not sure I will ever finish the game in its entirety. Its mindless and repetitive, like most of the early arcade shooters back in the day. There is a nice level of progressive challenge and Crystal Leaderboards will track your scores and your achievements so you can compete with the world.
Inkvaders is fun and worth checking out, especially if you enjoy simple to play, yet challenging arcade shooters, but I would probably wait for a sale in the app store before adding this to my game library. For as original as this game looks, there are more enjoyable games to actually play on your iPad.