Star Marine: Infinite Ammo, a retro platformer from Glitchsoft, is now available from the app store. Featuring dual-stick controls, big boss battles, and plenty of enemies to destroy, Star Marine is a fun addition to the genre.
Star Marine: Infinite Ammo Pros:
- Nice retro platformer look
- Old-school soundtrack enhances arcade experience
- Cool dual-stick controls
- Upgradeable weapons and abilities using gems earned in-game
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Star Marine: Infinite Ammo Cons:
- Controls lack a certain responsiveness and smoothness that we expect
- Gem system is not well implemented
As the tough-as-nails title character, you’ll find yourself engaged in a battle for survival when you land on an unfriendly planet full of unwelcoming battle bots. Through 10 levels of play, you must shoot through an army of baddies, blast through doorways, and take down bosses to advance. Gems are earned at a relatively slow pace by passing point thresholds, giving you the option to upgrade weapons and abilities when you’ve earned enough. Of course, you can speed up the process by purchasing large quantities via IAP. Eradicating enemies shouldn’t be much trouble because, as the title suggests, ammo is plentiful. Moving throughout the environments is controlled by a left-side joypad, while an 8-direction pad on the right is used for aiming and firing. This presents the problem of putting you in the path of enemy fire in order to line up your own shots, as well as resulting in many missed attempts and wasted ammo as you unintentionally shoot around enemies while trying to find the right angle. A jump button allows you to leap onto platforms and over gaps, with a double-jumping ability being earned relatively early in the game. You can also go prone by holding the down arrow. One of the cool features that we liked was the slow-motion falling that is initiated while shooting in mid-air.
Graphically, the game’s retro look and feel will appeal greatly to old-school gamers who enjoy getting bit by the nostalgia bug, though younger gamers should dig the style, too. Animations are decidedly stiff, which is par for the course given the style. The audio is also a throwback, complementing the game and providing the proper arcade atmosphere. The controls, as previously described, get the job done, but weren’t as responsive as we’d like. In all, the game does a nice job of replicating an experience we may have had a couple decades ago without adding improvements in speed or smoothness that we’ve come to expect since then.
Replay value is good, as an unlockable Boss Rush mode and several Survival modes offer different options than the main campaign. Multiple profiles also allow several gamers to use the same device without impacting another player’s progress. GameCenter provides a bunch of leaderboards and nearly 3 dozen achievements to earn. At $1.99, Star Marine: Infinite Ammo provides 3.5-Dimple old-school fun.
Star Marine: Infinite Ammo Review,