Jack into this bargain priced shooter.
Although there are a slew of shooters available for the iPhone, only a select few are must-haves. Chillingo's circuit_strike.one (or cs.one) is right up there with the best, not only because it's so much fun, but also because of its price. Ninety-nine pennies gets you a ton of shoot-em-up fun.
There's actually a story behind cs.one and it makes some sense. You're a hacker trying to infiltrate a corrupt network to gain access to its archives and spy on a big corporation. However, the company safeguarded the network with all kinds of gun turrets and enemies to keep your virtual self from snooping. It's up to you to clear each playfield of baddies, blow up the unguarded core and move to the next level to infiltrate the nodes.
Chillingo offers two control schemes, Basic and Advanced. Shooting pros will feel right at home with Advanced, moving their finger around the screen to change direction of the ship while touching the area near it to thrust and go in reverse; they can also hit the brakes by dragging their fingers along the screen. Basic works with the same principles, but gives you an analog control on the bottom of the screen so you can manually rotate your ship. Since this game's tough, especially in later levels, you're better off sticking with Basic. No matter which way you go, however, you'll easily maneuver your ship and kill bad guys.
Cs.one's visuals have a disco inspired appearance with some vector graphics thrown in for good measure. Later stages look even more impressive, with cool glowing particle effects and animations. The game also displays humorous messages every time you die, such as "WTF" and "Pwned"; gamers will feel right at home with this lingo.
As for the music, it rocks. You're in for a treat, thanks to the techno soundtrack. It drowns out some of the lesser effects, but we're pretty sure you won't mind. Do yourself a favor, though, and plug in your headphones so you're not distracted by noises from the outside world.
There are three unlockable skill levels, 30 unlockable achievements and other goodies to discover, and you can also post your high scores through online leaderboards. Sadly, the game lacks any kind of multiplayer component, but at least you'll be able to log your score and see how well you stack up against others.
For now, cs.one will only set you back ninety-nine cents, at least for the time being. Chillingo plans to up the price to three dollars in the next few weeks. Even then, however, this game is worth the investment. It's old school shooting at its best, with a presentation that can't be beat, online scoreboards and the kind of "twitch" gameplay that'll leave you coming back for more. Don't miss your chance to hack into this network.
What's Hot: Superb graphics and audio, gameplay is a mix between Asteroids and Geometry Wars, online scoreboard, less than a dollar (for the moment).
What's Not: Ridiculously hard, no multiplayer.