Van Pershing: The Showdown
Hugh, is that you?
Van Pershing: The Showdown is a combination of Hakfbrick Studios' Monster Dash and Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman, which at first seemed like a sweet combo until we realized that the Van Helsing part only extends to the hero wearing a similar outfit. Otherwise, it's a decent Monster Dash clone featuring attractive 2-D graphics and plenty of monsters to blast.
This title was cut from the "guy who can't stop running" mold, where the main character constantly moves forward. To keep him alive, you must tap the screen to leap across gaps while pressing the fire button to unleash hell upon the game's enemies, a list of creatures that includes zombies, mummies and werewolves.
To keep things interesting, the developers scattered power-ups throughout the game that come in handy for defeating the evil hordes. A rapid-fire laser gun, for example, makes short work of bad guys, while a jet pack lets you hover for brief periods of time.
The game comes with an Endless mode that challenges you to push onward for as long as possible, as well as a Survival mode that tasks you with running a specific distance; to sweeten the deal, the creators implemented online leaderboards.
The only thing holding Van Pershing back is a lack of creativity. While fun in short bursts, the game just doesn't have enough variety to keep us coming back. The 16-bit inspired graphics are a nice touch, and we like the way monsters explode into a burst of flame, but we've also seen this type of game countless times before.
That doesn't mean you should ignore Van Pershing. On the contrary. Just don't expect anything extraordinary.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
What's Hot: A variety of backdrops, simple controls, enjoyable monster blasting action, leaderboards, universal download.
What's Not: Does little we haven't seen before.