Arcade Reality Review: Shoot Dem Pixels

You know technology has gone pretty far when the pixels on your television screen are now shooting at you in real life.  That’s pretty much what happens in Arcade Reality as pixelated creatures shoot out their damaging bullets at your ship, and the only way to stop them is to shoot them back.  Of course, being an augmented reality game, this game and review will only apply to 3GS users.


Graphics: The pixelated enemies are done really well, and the 3.0 MP camera that the iPhone 3GS possesses helps out in the process.  I would think that it would be a tad bit easier for developer to design their game as there is no real background to design.  I thought the explosions and characters were well designed though, and the developers did a great job with making the game look retro.

Interactive: You’ve probably heard those stories of kids becoming obese because of too much video gaming.  But fear no more, augmented reality does away with that thinking and becomes more of like a Wii Fit for those wanting to lose weight.  Arcade Reality is very interactive and requires you to move around in 360 degree circles, causing much more fun than you would think it would cause.  The idea behind the game is very simple, but the interactiveness makes this game feel more and more interesting as you progress.


User Interface: User interface is worse than ugly, and I have never seen such badly designed buttons.  The buttons were just way too close together, and the whole swinging around animation did not help at all.  The interface is also very rough-looking with little or no polish to it at all, and the developers seemed to focus more on the concept rather than the design.  It would have been nice if the developers looked a little bit into making the game look more appealing.

Difficult: Yeah, the game is fun and all but not when you can’t get past level 5.  After level 4, the game starts to ramp up tremendously in difficulty, and you’ll be down before you know it.  Enemies are flying around everywhere with black ink to cover up your screen.  Your bullets become very ineffective when you hit the U.F.Os, and you’ll eventually just stop trying.

Not Available to the Public: I really can’t see myself playing this in public unless I’m showing a friend how cool iPhone gaming can be.  You’ll just look like a complete idiot turning around in your iPhone blasting baddies while people with no augmented reality cameras can’t see anything but a crazy guy twirling around with his iPhone camera.  I mean, if you want to play it in public you can, but I can assure you that you will look like a complete idiot.

Arcade Reality was a very fun game, but it felt more of like a tech demo than actual game.  Gameplay is very shallow and difficult, and once you can get over the fact that it’s augmented reality, you’ll just see how shallow the gameplay actually is.  The idea is great and all, but it would have been nice to add some powerups to keep up with the increasing level of difficulty, and a slightly slicked up UI would also be a good update to the package.


Arcade Reality was developed by Chillingo, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $2.99.


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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