Home > Games, My writing > Star Marine: Infinite Ammo (iOS Review)

Star Marine: Infinite Ammo (iOS Review)

Star-Marine-2Star Marine: Infinite Ammo is a fairly apt title for this iOS shooter. It’s a generic hodge-podge of standard iOS conventions in the form of a side-scrolling shooter. Oh, and if you were wondering about the subtitle, your main weapon has infinite ammo for some reason.

Gameplay consists of guiding your titular Star Marine from the left side of the screen to the right. Along the way you will face increasingly large hordes of enemies, which you’ll want to dispatch quickly to build up a highscore and combo meter. This is particularly important here because you earn gems as you hit certain score milestones. These gems allow you to purchase upgrades, weapons and various items. Being an iOS game you can also buy these gems for a fee, allowing you to get a little extra progress without having to grind through levels.

The difficulty in first few levels is inconsistent to say the least. At times it can be hard to get through an encounter without taking damage, especially bosses. On other occasions you can quite easily stand at one end of a room and hold down fire until all waves of enemies are defeated, with absolutely no danger of being attacked. As a result feelings within levels range from boredom to frustration with little to no fun or challenge in between.

To make the bosses easier it is almost essential to purchase a new weapon or upgrade. As otherwise they are quite a chore, with health bars which drain far too slowly. But earning gems takes longer than one would hope, so using the micro-transaction system almost feels necessary at times. Without that purchase it is likely you will have to play through the first couple of levels a few times to upgrade your Marine or buy a more powerful weapon. It’s also worth noting that those weapons have limited ammo, which can be replenished at very specific points in a level, so even purchasing them can’t guarantee you’ll have an easier time.

Star Marine‘s art style, much like its name, is fairly generic. It’s colourful enough but it doesn’t have much identity, it wouldn’t be hard to find a handful of other iOS shooters with very similar styles. It isn’t particularly well animated either, looking a little like an older flash game in movement. However the backgrounds within levels are often impressively attractive, especially in the later levels. It’s a shame the same aesthetic doesn’t apply to the rest of the game.

Directional range of your weapon is arbitrarily restricted to eight directions, which isn’t initially clear as the onscreen analog stick doesn’t indicate such a restriction. This often makes trying to aim a little more frustrating than it should be as you can’t always tell how far you have to go to get to the next pre-determined direction. The ability to fire freely in any direction would certainly make some of the more hectic encounters a little more bearable (and feel less cheap).

With very little originality and fun in short supply, there’s not much reason to recommend Star Marine. It has recently received an update to speed up the gameplay and slightly lessen the milestones needed to unlock gems. Sadly, it needs more work than that to improve the core experience. As it is, there are just better games on iOS worth your time and money.

Originally published on Square-Go.com

Categories: Games, My writing Tags: ,
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