Review: Ziggurat [2/3]

   Alien Freaks.

I’m a little late to the party as far as games on the touch interface go.  But I knew once I did, the first game on my list to play was Ziggurat.  Well, here I am, iPod touch in hand and a fair bit of time spent playing Ziggurat.  The player finds him or her self stranded on top of a mountain above the clouds with alien/skeleton things (freaks?) chasing them from all sides.  The player’s goal is to last as long as possible, but I assume the aliens never stop climbing.  The player is armed with a canon though (one that somehow reminds me of Lazerblast) which gives you a half decent chance at defending yourself.  Shots are charged by touching the lower portion of the screen while aiming and then released to fire.  By timing shots correctly, they will cause a large explosion when they hit a target which may in turn catch other aliens in the blast radius.  Each enemy that’s dispatched also causes another smaller explosion.  And it’s at this point that the strategy starts to get interesting.

As you learn how to control the canon, the goal evolves from surviving for as long as possible to managing the screen for as long as possible.  While the basic enemies slowly hop towards you on the screen, there are several other types that force you to keep on your toes.  Some take much more damage before they are dispatched, while others can strike from the periphery with little warning.  The game is balanced well enough to give you a steady sense of progress as you play it, without making you feel as though you’re being cheated when killed.  The game’s core is solid and enjoyable, but I can’t help but feel it would execute better if I had a controller in my hands.  Given the touch interface, the player is forced to perform the aim and fire verbs simultaneously and thus give up a degree of control.  And for a game that’s all about control, the touch interface is holding it back.  The game is a great value, and a lot of fun to play but it does not reach it’s full potential.

Rating: 2/3

See also: Trailer, Official Site, More thoughts at Ruminatron5000

Buy it on the Apple App Store

  1. June 18th, 2012

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