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StarCannon Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on April 22, 2010


StarCannon
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Brighter arcade-level graphics.
  • Progressive weapon upgrades and bonus modes.
  • Global scores and achievements.

CONS

  • Sluggish controls.
  • Toned-down boss fights.

VERDICT

Hardcore fans will find the challenge of mastering StarCannon rewarding, but it's worth checking out the original game online before diving in to the hand-held version.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Jagex Game Studio, better known for their great selection of free games online have recently released a port of their popular shoot'em-up title 'StarCannon' for the iPhone. Strangely, something seems to have been lost in translation and this title bears very little resemblance to the game's progenitor.

Like most recent shoot'em-ups, StarCannon uses a touch and drag system to control the player's ship. Firing is automatic while touching the screen and the ship will automatically steer towards the tip of your finger to stay in sight at all times. However, instead of the fast maneuvering ship of the original title, players will need to wrestle with sluggish movement that feels like dragging a spoon through thick molasses.

Visually the game has retained its basic design, with enemies keeping their angular insectoid inspired shapes. Instead of the more subdued designs for the PC, the iPhone version has been given a brighter palette, helping the special effects and enemies to really pop out at you from the screen. Sadly the sluggish controls start to simmer and eventually boil over as frustration when the thick waves of enemies become increasingly harder to avoid. Boss fights that used to be minor bullet-hells on the original have been toned down, seemingly to accommodate the slower movement.

With such a great original title as inspiration StarCannon should have been a no-brainer for success. Hardcore SHMUP fans might still enjoy the challenge, but casual gamers should think twice.

Screenshots

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