Boss Battles strikes me as a game that should have been significantly better than it is. Not that it's terrible, per se, but after decades of thrilling boss fights across a variety of classic shooters, Backflip Studios could have transformed this title into a wonderful homage to the glory days of R-Type, Radiant Silvergun and Gradius. Instead, it's an easy game that constantly dangles the in-app purchase over my head.
As the title implies, Boss Battles is simply that: confrontations with big, bad bosses that want to blast you into oblivion. To that end, the game comes with eight to destroy, with silly names like Scatterblaster and Glopulous.
You, meanwhile, take on the role of Rico, a fearless fighter pilot under the command of one Admiral Grizzlovsky, who, no surprise, is a talking bear.
Each stage lets you annihilate a bunch of smaller enemies before squaring off against the boss, primarily as a means of acquiring diamonds, which function as the game's currency. You can then cash these gems in for sweet weapons and upgrades, including rapid fire, a homing attack, drone mines, a shield and missiles.
Therein lies the catch. The developers priced these things so high that you have two options. Level grind for hours by defeating the same bosses, or cough up some real world dough, where $0.99 nets you 5,000 diamonds and $24.99 a whopping 500,000 with varying amounts in between. At least on the positive side, a couple bucks probably won't kill you.
We just wish Boss Battles were more difficult. A majority of the bosses take little effort to beat, and pale in comparison to the monsters from shooters like Mars Matrix and Ikaruga. Suffice to say, if you played those games and lived to tell the tale, the big lugs in Boss Battles will be a pushover.
That said, this is still a decently made and somewhat entertaining video game with great potential for expansion. The fact that it's free also helps.
On that note, be sure to check out Boss Battles. Just don't expect much of a fight. As for the team at Backflip Studios, more bosses please.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
What's Hot: Free, multiple upgrades, eight bosses, five levels of difficulty, one Russian bear.
What's Not: No universal support, bosses a bit on the easy side, hard to amass tons of diamonds.