iPhone game development house ngmoco is continuing its rapid-fire rollout of games for the iPhone. The latest one is Dropship, a space-based shooter reminiscent of the old Starfox games for the Nintendo consoles. I think this is one of those games that people will either love or get frustrated with fast.
Unfortunately, I’m the latter.
The problem is with the controls. While most games in this genre on the iPhone and iPod touch use the device’s accelerometer to control movement, Dropship switches things up a bit and uses the device’s multi-touch capabilities to control the game. While your left thumb dictates where you will fly, your right thumb controls the shooting. Taking either thumb off the screen will stop its respective action.
It’s kind of cool how it works, but it’s way too hard to get used to for a casual game. Still, I don’t doubt that those who do master it will like this game a lot. And at $1.99 — yes, this is another of ngmoco’s “micro-priced” games due before its higher-priced Rolando hits later this month — it’s a good deal if you can learn the controls and get a lot of out it.
But to me, a game like this underscores why the iPhone should have free game demos. Not everyone will like this game, and it’s a shame to waste even $2 if you’re never going to play it again. Game demos work great on a system like Xbox Live where I can test the arcade game downloads before I buy them. Of course, some developers on the iPhone get around this problem by releasing a “lite” version of the game for free, but many, like ngmoco, don’t do that.
Since I have to try it out for you and let you know, I’ll just say that if I had $1.99 to drop on an ngmoco game, I’d pick Dr. Awesome over this.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYsJOYMtcUY&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x2b405b&color2=0x6b8ab6&w=480&h=385]