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Storm Strikers Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on March 12, 2012


Storm Strikers
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Bleeding-edge manic combat; screen flares to life with bullets, explosions and action.
  • Unlockable ships mix up the challenge instead of reducing it.
  • Simple, but effective risk / reward combo system for high-score junkies.

CONS

  • Arcade-style difficulty; the developer is not your friend and casual players not used to overcoming constant failure will be put off immediately.
  • Poor UI design; hyper-color visuals for the game are OK, but straining to see text / buttons just hurts the eyes.

VERDICT

Storm Strikers isn't particularly original when it comes to the broader details, but Sunny Tam's distinct style shines through in the fine details, making this a manic challenge suited to those who find themselves not dying enough in games.


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One should probably not play Storm Strikers by Sunny Tam early in the morning - then again I'm not at my greatest before I've had an unhealthy amount of coffee, so take this warning at face value. When you load this game up the face-meltingly challenging shooter experience should be no surprise at all (this is the developer behind Danmaku Unlimited after all), but persistence and skill is duly rewarded, firmly placing the game in the realms of the 'hardcore' gaming enthusiest.

Much like Danmaku you can expect the game to be a visual explosion of fluorescent colors, pulsing explosions and frantic action that barely provides and opportunity to see what's happening at all times. Thankfully, despite such extravagant visuals the projectiles you'll face are surprisingly easy to keep track of, though avoiding them is something entirely different as a lot of effort has gone in to creating bullet-patterns that force you in to compromising positions... This is no game for those who hate needing to become a perfectionist to succeed.

Your reward for charging your way through the game's nightmarish seven stage gauntlet is the ability to earn tokens, which can then be exchanged to either unlock increasingly powerful ships or continues to keep your rolling along after losing all your lives. Unless you're a true bullet-hell veteran, sticking to the normal difficulty will provide enough of a challenge, let alone the fourth and most insane difficulty level which eats up continues like so much candy.

Aside from simply finishing the game, the scoring system is augmented by providing a typical risk / reward system of turning bullets fired by enemies in to combo-points if they're killed within a set radius of your ship. While the area provided seems quite generous, taking down enemies face-to-face is a recipe for disaster considering the amount of ships that regularly slide on to screen at any given moment.

The real take-home feature that makes Storm Strikers a real must-have for hardcore fans is the amount of ships on offer. Despite the usual break-up of stats (power, spread, special), each one has a distinct feel that requires learning, adding more depth to the challenge instead of simply flattening it out.

While Storm Strikers is not for everyone,  it's a great example of why hardcore shooters have found a home on the iOS.

Screenshots

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