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Laser Dolphin Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on May 9, 2011


Laser Dolphin
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Fluid controls; quick and responsive virtual pad, easy to aim tap-to-fire weapons.
  • Lots of strange and interesting enemies to encounter.
  • 50 maze-like levels over four different worlds to explore.
  • Alternate Race and Stunt modes for a bit of replay value.

CONS

  • Visually stale; rough world textures and sprite animations, poor 3D cut-scenes.
  • Repetitive gameplay; explore a maze while killing enemies until you escape.

VERDICT

It's worth grabbing Laser Dolphin for the name alone, especially when it lives up to the name by letting you pilot a dolphin with a fricken' laser on its head; (insert evil 'muahahahaha's in here).


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If Ecco the Dolphin was stripped of its Adventure/Metroidvania style of gameplay and was given an Action overhaul you'd probably end up with something a little like Laser Dolphin by Dingo Games.

Much like their first App Store release (Tasty Planet), Laser Dolphin isn't much to look at - the designs are functional instead of aesthetically pleasing, but don't make the mistake of thinking this means the gameplay is lacking. No, flipping out across the level as an agile dolphin while tapping the screen to fire your weapon is amazingly fluid and (if you're in the right mood) really fun despite its mindless simplicity. Tapping can be a bit awkward, especially when trying to aim near your movement controls, however this is also offset by your weapon being quite powerful even before you start upgrading it or using power-ups on various levels.

50 levels over four worlds may not seem like much, but each level is essentially a maze (albeit somewhat linear in their design), encouraging players to explore and find all the hidden golden dolphins in the level before exiting. Novel enemies such as TNT wielding turtles, bomb dropping seagulls and robotic sharks vary in their difficulty, however charging your weapon will usually provide you with enough firepower while you dodge their attacks.

Better still, if you want to take a break from the Adventure mode you can jump in to a checkpoint based 'Race' mode to compete for speed records or in a 'Stunt' mode that rewards players for complex aerial maneuvers (including bonuses for firing your weapon at the same time). Game Center is supported for your high score needs along with 12 basic progression achievements.

With a name like Laser Dolphin it's hard to go wrong and the game delivers the goods, though its weakness is its relatively short campaign and repetitive level design. While it won't remain a distraction for long, it's still a good pick up for those after something a bit out of the ordinary (and especially if you love Ecco the Dolphin).

Screenshots

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Comments

Avatar
wiking 2 years, 11 months ago

i like funny icon of this game :)