Don’t Shoot Yourself! Pros:
- Frantic exciting action in clever confined spaces
- Minimalist graphics and relaxing soundtrack
- Simple one-thumb controls for both lefties and righties
- GameCenter integration for Infinite mode leaderboards and a dozen achievements
Don’t Shoot Yourself! Cons:
- Controls are a little fiddly and take some getting used to
- Difficulty will be off-putting to casual gamers
You are tasked with firing 100 bullets from your ship in a significantly confined space, where bullets will ricochet all around you. Penetration from even one bullet will immediately end your effort. You control your craft with a single thumb, maneuvering it around level perimeters and through bullet showers as necessary to stay out of harm’s way. If you release your thumb from the screen, your auto-firing craft will stop, but your remaining bullet count will quickly build back to 100. Constant movement is a must if you have any chance at survival. On each level, you are ranked by how many bullets you can fire before you are impaled by a projectile. Stars are awarded for reaching various numbered thresholds. Letting loose that final bullet will snag a third star and cause the borders to explode outward in satisfying fashion. You can view or save your replay if you’d like to show off or analyze your attempt. There are 50 levels to master, featuring maps of all shapes and colors. Some levels are straightforward circles, some are winding swirls, and still others don’t even have visible borders. Early on, you’ll encounter pods that release homing missiles if perforated by your bullets, adding an intense chase element to an already difficult game. Other levels incorporate portals or a dynamic swirling line that creates a constantly shifting additional border for bullets to bounce against or for impromptu protection. It seems there is some interesting new element around every corner. We were able to beat a few levels in just a single attempt, while others had us stymied us after dozens of tries. Stars are used to unlock sets of levels, so you’ll need to keep at it if you want to progress. While we found the game to be a lot of fun, the difficulty will be off-putting for many casual gamers.
Graphically, the game has a fairly simple look and feel, pleasing to the minimalist’s eye. One-half of your screen is occupied by the active gaming area, while the other half is reserved for your thumb movements. You can choose which side is which based on your own preference. The layouts are usually simple line drawings and the bullets are little more than tiny white dots. Black dots are indicative of homing missiles. The aesthetic is simple, yet effective. The soundtrack has a catchy, relaxing feel, despite gameplay that is anything but. Sound effects accompany the firing bullets for added effect. The controls correlate well to the action on the screen, mirroring your thumb movements quite accurately. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to move your thumb outside of the active area, causing your ship to stop firing and you to lose bullet progress. Additionally, when you first place your thumb on the screen, the ship tends to jump to a different spot rather than have the touched location become the center resting point. A countdown at the beginning of each level helps to mitigate this issue by allowing you time to reposition the ship, but the same issue arises from time to time during gameplay which leads to unnecessary deaths. We found the controls a little fiddly for our taste, making a difficult game unnecessarily more challenging.
Replay value is pretty good, as many of the levels will require some thought and practice to find a winning strategy that will earn those 3-star scores. Some of the levels are just so stinking tough. GameCenter integration provides leaderboards for the included Infinite mode, as well as nearly a dozen achievements to earn. A universal app on launch sale for $0.99 (regularly $3.99), Don’t Shoot Yourself! is a frustratingly clever 3.5-Dimple offering.
Don't Shoot Yourself! Review,