Alien Invaders for the iPhone was a nice pick-up-and-play game from StormBASIC, and following its success comes Alien Invaders 2. This game totally changes the way you look at Alien Invaders, adding a side-scrolling shooter type of gameplay along with many different upgrades.
While the video and screens do look quite nice, the gameplay seems to somewhat of a different story.
Graphics: These 2.5D graphics are a huge improvement from the first one, and it’s definitely cool to see all those 3D alien spaceships flying at you. Graphics have been greatly improved from the first one, and it’s almost like love at first sight.
Powerups: Powerups aren’t plentiful, but upgrading your powerups is. There are red dots you must collect to gain power, which eventually leads to executing those powerups. There are a total of 4 different modifiers you can choose, and all of them can be upgraded 3 times after purchase. Watch out though, if you die you lose all your powerups. It almost felt like I was playing Mario, except in spaceship form.
Adequate Sequel: Developers in the App Store seemed to have invisibly deemed the title “sequel” as nothing more than a content update. StormBASIC did a great job with totally reworking the game, adding totally new gameplay along with very different designs, etc. This is how you make a sequel, and while it does stay true to the original, StormBASIC differentiated the two by a lot, leaving both worthy of purchase.
Difficulty: Maybe I just suck, maybe I don’t. The difficulty felt in even the first level was somewhat overwhelming, and I found myself not being able to even beat stage 1. The furthest I’ve gotten so far is the boss for stage 1, but the difficulty keeps me from going forward. I would have loved to unlock the other levels, but the difficulty for now leaves much to be desired.
Controls: Controls have never worked for a side-scrolling shooter of this type, and it definitely doesn’t work with Alien Invaders 2. I found the tilt controls to be a little to sensitive while the touch controls would eventually block your view. I guess it isn’t the developer’s fault for the control issues, but the accelerometer controls need some work along with some d-pad or joystick control scheme. It would be a lot better than just the touch controls.
Alien Invaders has potential, but there are some flaws that it needs to hurdle over to fulfill that potential. The controls and difficulty were a major setback for me, and while I really wanted to like the game, it’s still a work in progress. The game itself stays true to all other StormBASIC games, but in the end, the controls and difficulty will leave you somewhat frustrated. Casual gamers won’t find this casual game too appealing either.