Friday, August 27, 2010

Game Review - Tilt to Live

Tilt to Live - $2.99 (Appshopper link)

Many have attempted to bring big budget, full-featured games from consoles and computers to the portable, small-screened iPhone. Some games turn out well, but many of them suffer from the small screen and the lack of physical buttons. This is why certain types of games really excel on the iPhone and others don't.

Tilt to Live is an example of a simple game that really takes advantage of what the iPhone can do, while not trying to do something that the iPhone can't do. But don't let the term "simple" fool you.

With that out of the way, here's what the game is about. You control what is basically a white arrow on a rectangular playing field the size of your iDevice's screen. In gamer lingo, it's a 2-D overhead view game. Red dots appear on the screen and constantly try to kill you by touching you. Your goal is to use the iPhone's tilt controls to move the white arrow and avoid the red dots - hence the name 'Tilt to Live'.

But it's not just a survival and avoidance game. Along with the red dot enemies, weapons appear randomly which you can use to destroy the dots. There are eight weapons in all, and three of them - nuke, hadouken (my name, not theirs), and homing missiles - are available from the beginning. As you play the game and achieve certain feats, you gain Agon points. At certain Agon point levels you unlock new weapons. Achieving these feats is half the fun, and obtaining and using the new weapons is the other half of the fun. Eventually you get a freeze blast, detonating shield, spiked shield, lightning shield, and finally the "burnicade" which creates a temporary fiery wall that kills any red dots that come in contact.

Tilt to Live is a great twist on the "survive as long as you can and try for the high score" type of game. Even though you may die quickly at first, there is always an incentive to try again, whether it's to get a better score or to unlock the newest achievement/weapon.

But wait, there's more! What I described above is just one of 4 play modes in Tilt to Live, the Normal mode. Also included is Code Red, the "Normal game, but on crack," where red dots show up much faster and are many times more relentless. There's Gauntlet, in which you get no weapons and red dots are arranged in a side-scrolling "obstacle course" of sorts and you must avoid them and collect Time orbs to increase the time left on the figurative hourglass. And finally there's the newest mode, Frostbite, in which red dots start out frozen and continuously fall downward from the top of the screen. You must touch them to pop them before they reach the bottom, at which point they thaw out and come after you.

If you're looking for a game that can be either a quick time killer or something to keep you occupied on a long flight, give Tilt to Live a try.

The loading screen is always entertaining.

350 Agon points is more than enough to get all the weapons.

Choose your destiny

Red Alert!

We need a burnicade in here, stat!