Storm The Train
By all accounts, Chillingo could have charged $0.99 for Storm the Train and it would have been justified, as the game's high level of polish, content and fun factor more than justify the price. Instead, the company chose to give it away for free, and we're all the happier for it, as the side-scrolling 2D shooter quickly became one of our favorite titles for iPhone and iPad.
In a sense, Storm the Train falls into the endless running category, except you have full control over one of three heroes: Mason, Graham and Carrera, each of which posses unique stats in overall health and speed. Here, the goal is to fight your way across multiple trains by slaughtering legions of zombies, werewolves, vampires, killer robots and other baddies, pausing to tackle the occasional boss. The experience is at times methodical and intense, depending on the number of creeps on screen and the character's hit points that deplete at such a rapid pace, you can never afford to be caught napping, not even for the split second it takes to remove your eyes from the screen to see what's on TV. Do that, and you're dead.
With this in mind, the developers litter the playfield with gold coins that you can use to purchase all manner of cool upgrades, from rifles and ray guns to spinning attacks, floating turrets and coin magnets. Since it's free, Storm the Train naturally comes with options for in-app purchase, but never pressures you to buy anything.
Meanwhile, the game benefits from a simplistic style that won't win any best graphics awards, but still packs in plenty of details, like evil skeletons exploding into a mess of bones, or skulls hanging from hooks. We also like how the scenery changes from train to train in real time.
Rounding out this impressive package is the option to customize the virtual controls however you wish by simply dragging buttons around the screen. That doesn't necessarily prevent you from accidentally shooting when you intended to jump, but it's a welcome addition.
On that note, and if you adore side-scrolling shooters, Storm the Train comfortably sits among the best free games on the App Store. It lacks the bells and whistles we expect these days, but when it comes to monster-blasting thrills, the game delivers the pulse-pounding arcade goodness fans crave.
What's Hot: A constant stream of enemies to blast, three playable characters, plenty of weapons and upgrades, free-to-play.
What's Not: Some cheap deaths.