Mr. Driller Review: Drilling Everything But the Wallet

Has Namco learned after developing for almost a year for the iPhone?  I would really like to believe so, and Mr. Driller seems to be a title that shows Namco’s progress.  Sure it still has its issues and whatnot, but it’s a major improvement price wise and overall design wise compared to other games like Pac-Man and Galaga REMIX.  If you’re a fan of these games, Mr. Driller doesn’t fail to deliver especially at the low price point of $0.99.


Graphics: The graphics and artwork in Mr. Driller is very well done compared to their other games, and I found the overall design of Namco’s Mr. Driller to be very well executed.  There aren’t any ugly buttons or random black bars on the bottom of your screen, and the overall style of the game is visually very appealing.

Gameplay Modes: With 3 gameplay modes, the game provides an extensive amount of replayability, and I’m very glad it isn’t just one.  All three: Time Attack, Survival, and Arcade; will keep the average person busy for quite a while, and I’m very satisfied with the replay value in this game.

Not Watered Down: Personally if I was Namco, I would be very upset to sell a $30 game or $0.99 on the App Store.  Cut the developing costs and bring them a half-baked game is what I would do.  That’s exactly what Namco didn’t do, and they went through by providing a non-watered down version of the game.  Sure there are maybe 1 or 2 game modes missing from the original, but it’s pretty much the same $30 game on the DS.


Controls: I really don’t know when Namco is going to get this right.  Sure they’ve added 3 different control methods, but each one seems to be very uninspired and not very intuitive.  The directional pad is very badly made, and the swipe and accelerometer controls are just out of the picture.  With Namco making a branch for solely iPhone games, I really hope they start to improve the controls for their games as most of their games handle the controls pretty badly.

Mr. Driller is a solid port of the DS version of the game, and it’s definitely worth the small asking price.  I’m surprised they didn’t go with a $4.99 or $2.99 price point, and the replay value of this game is just wonderful.  The controls aren’t a big part of the game, and while Namco still needs to improve them, I didn’t find myself frustrated or bullied around by the controls.  Mr. Driller is a beautiful game, and it seems like it’s a huge step for Namco in terms of iPhone games.


Mr. Driller was developed by Namco, and I played through version 1.0 on my 1st generation iPhone.  The price is $0.99.



About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

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