Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Mobile Gaming: Siberian Strike

Remember playing arcade games like Xevious and 1942 in the arcade as a child? You’d take out wave after wave of enemy fighters, ground emplacements, and just about any other obstacle that you care to think of. There were all kinds of crazy upgrades you could earn – typically over-the-top weapons that would destroy just about anything in your path. Those were good times, right? Except for all the quarters you’d have to pour into the arcade machine to keep playing after you’d inevitably make a mistake and die. That wasn’t so awesome.

Now you can relive the experience in all its nostalgic glory, minus all those quarters. Siberian Strike is a Gameloft title for iPhone/iPod Touch that recreates that experience, with a few tweaks to freshen the traditional “vertical scrolling shooter” gameplay a bit.

You can choose one of three fighters – one with great speed but weak firepower, another that has beastly weapons but little speed, and a third that is evenly balanced between the two. The main method of gameplay is Story Mode, in which you’ll embark in a series of missions against the Russian military, moving across the plains of Siberia from one installation to the next, appropriately annihilating everything in your path. As should be expected in games of this nature, there are larger, more powerful “boss” battles to supplement the regular gameplay.

In addition, there are some specialty missions, involving precision flying through a field of icebergs. While not too challenging, these provide a nice change of pace and variety to the experience.

Unfortunately, other modes of gameplay beyond Story Mode are a bit limited. There’s Free Play, which is merely the chance to replay levels out of order, should you feel the urge to do so. You’ve also got Multiplayer, though I’ve got to mention that there wasn’t anyone else online attempting to use this mode when I tried to use it. From what I can tell, it’s just a cooperative mode on the exact same levels that you play in all other modes.

Graphically, the game has cool semi-retro visuals and a cartoonty style that emphasizes the humorous, vaguely-excessive style typified in these games. Battery life is average while playing. I would’ve preferred to see more creativity in terms of gameplay – perhaps an Unlimited/Endless mode, or other forms of multiplayer.

Overall, it’s a solid game, and the $2.99 price is appropriate for the content it delivers. I would prefer to see one of two updates with additional content. Regardless, if you’re into these types of games, Siberian Strike is a good choice.

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June 2, 2009 - Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch, review | , , , , , , ,

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