It lacks originality, but Spokko's cheap iPhone shooter is heavy on fun.
Spokko's iPhone game, Light Wars, instantly became one of our favorites. This shameless Geometry Wars rip-off features dual (on-screen) analog controls and wave upon wave of neon-colored enemies. It's a lot of fun, especially considering the $1 asking price.
There's no back-story to Light Wars. You simply jump in to one of the game's two modes, Wave and Survival, and shoot away. Wave provides pre-set groups of enemies to take down, while Survival throws everything but the kitchen sink at you. You maneuver your ship with the left analog stick, placed in the bottom left corner of the screen. To fire, you use the right analog stick to shoot in any direction. The controls work well, although gamers used to playing with actual sticks in the Geometry Wars games may need to adjust.
Along with a multi-directional cannon, you'll also use limited power-ups, such as a spread gun and homing missiles. These are very useful, especially in later stages when enemies multiply faster than rabbits. You also activate super bombs by shaking your iPhone, destroying everything on-screen . Use them sparingly, though. Once you're out, you'll need to move quickly to survive.
The graphics remind us of Geometry Wars. Some of the enemy designs look the same (red triangle ships, green diamonds), but there are some original ones, such as a bright red circle with a moon-shaped orange shield. In addition, the background consists of a black space setting with a white grid laid over it. So while it's neither original nor fancy, it has a nice retro appearance.
The same goes for the music, an entertaining combination of upbeat techno beats, blips and bloops you might hear in older shooters from the 80s. The sound effects are equally good, with various pops and bangs.
Light Wars also features an online scoreboard, where you post your high scores and see how they compare with other gamers'. Unfortunately, there's no practice room to get a hang of the controls, nor is there a way to adjust the difficulty. You're stuck with the default settings.
Despite the fact that it looks and feels like a clone, Light Wars is one of the iPhone's best. Now go spend that dollar.
What's Hot: Tight controls, great graphics and 80s style techno music, Wave and Survival modes keep things challenging, global scoreboard, only a dollar.
What's Not: No difficulty settings, shamelessly rips off Bizarre Creations' Geometry Wars games.