A fresh but fussy affair.
The gameplay of Don't Shoot Yourself! really is neatly summed up by the title alone. You assume control of a tiny spaceship that's enclosed within a collection of labyrinths, and your only job is to steer the ship around the screen so as to avoid the ricocheting bullets that it fires automatically. Sounds a little bit too simple to be worthwhile? Think again.
There's a wonderful Wario Ware-like approach to the level design in this game, and every stage seems to introduce a new challenge. One level might contain sliding doors, giving you limited opportunities to keep the chasing bullets at bay, while another features extra bouncy walls that send you bullets flying off at a blistering speed. So much imagination level design has been crafted out of such a simple core idea that you really have to take your hat off to the developers at Ayopa Games.
While the sense of exploration and experimentation at the core of Don't Shoot Yourself's is essential to its charm, this is an incredibly annoying game to get to grips with when you first pick it up. All you're told to do is hold your finger down on one specific side of the screen - does that fire the bullets, or cause your ship to move automatically? The answer is neither, and it's not apparent either that your finger movements on one side of the screen are replicated in the form of the ship's movement on the other. Put simply, it's hard to believe that anyone other than the creators actually played the game and gave feedback before it hit the App Store.
That rocky start to the game really is a shame, because once you've got passed the fussy introduction, there's a depth of invention to the game's levels that reminds us what we'd miss if mobile gaming simply didn't exist. In other words, there's much to be enjoyed in Don't Shoot Yourself - just don't expect a welcome mat when you first arrive.
Download Don't Shoot Yourself! - iPhone & iPad