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iDamaged Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on January 11, 2012


iDamaged
  • Publisher: Nils Widmer
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Released: 15 Dec, 2011
  • Size: 20.7 MB
  • Price: $0.99
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Slick modern 2D sci-fi theme; takes the original concept to a new level.
  • Easy to learn and use touch interface.

CONS

  • Clunky weapons; slow readjustment of aiming wastes ammo.
  • Heavy cool down penalties; leaves you standing around more than you should be.
  • Odd camera pan and zoom use; highlights action, but also leaves you vulnerable.

VERDICT

iDamaged is a basic action title that makes a call-back to the classic days of Amiga gaming, but fails to capture the same sense of smooth arcade action.


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There are titles that are near and dear to my heart thanks to the role they played while growing up in shaping my love of playing video games. Psygnosis' release of the unique and very brutal shooter 'Walker' is amongst these, thanks in part to its clever control scheme, detailed pixel-art and sharp audio design. iDamaged takes a stab at recreating this classic for the modern iOS gamer, but aside from the visual overhaul it's a long way off the mark.

One change fans of Walker may be appreciative of is the re-orientation of the giant death-machine that you control to the other side of the screen - that is to say, now you can walk from left to right, instead of right to left. Firing is easy enough, with taps and drags allowing you to aim and reposition the reticule as required and should you earn some power for your shield you need only tap the vehicle to activate it.

Unfortunately everything feels clunky and dialed back, with the interface itself proving to be the biggest problem of all. Special weapon ammo can be toggled on or off by tapping its icon in the top corner of the screen, however it's difficult to gauge how much of it you have left and at times you can't even tell if you've hit your target thanks to sporadically noticeable damage indicators (aural and visual). Super-weapons are toggled thanks to basic gestures, but this can be a hindrance as well given the way the screen constantly pans and zooms to highlight the action, making it near impossible to dodge incoming fire or shoot enemies at further edges of the camera.

Though this could all be forgiven if it wasn't for the weapon 'cooling' system and slow-firing 'machine gun' making life far more difficult than it needs to be. Aside from the heat bar only being visible via a tiny indicator in the bottom corner, even when upgraded your 'death machine' spends far more time standing there and not firing than it does dealing damage, making for an oddly jilted experience.

As fantastic as the 2D artwork is and the overall simplicity of the game's controls, iDamaged doesn't simply fail to recapture the magic of Walker, it also fails to excite as an action title and feels more like a limited simulation than a balls-to-the-wall arcade experience. Persistence and in-game upgrades do make things better, but it's not enough to smooth out the roughness of this title.

Screenshots

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