Alien Breed Review
- Retina graphics and twin-stick controls give the classic shooter a modern touch.
- Limited resources add to the tension.
- New 'Convergence' campaign acts as a good introduction to the game's mechanics.
- iCade support; perfect compliment to an already great shooter.
- New weapons feel more like 'flavor' changes; no real change on gameplay.
- Twin-stick control not offset by better AI; makes it easier to survive bad situations you've placed yourself in.
- Repetitive audio effects.
- Multiplayer mode currently missing from this release.
Rose-tinted glasses or not, Alien Breed stands the test of time whether you play the updated or 'classic' mode; an excellent shooter complete with genuine moments of tension that keep you coming back for more.
- Full Review
- App Store Info
Sure, Alien Breed by Team17 may have been a bare-faced attempt at re-imagining the Aliens franchise as a top-down shooter, but if you never had a chance to experience the classic on an Amiga, you haven't lived. That last statement may be hyperbolic (just a tad), but players were subjected to claustrophobic corridors, quick-moving aliens that continued to appear seemingly out of nowhere and (best of all) had to deal with severely limited resources. The sense of fear and tension was ahead of its time, and as such, is ripe for re-releasing in a modern setting.
However, some tweaks must be made to accommodate for mature gaming sensibilities; notably the graphics have been given a Retina quality polishing and the controls now feature the dual-stick shooting freedom we've come to know and (in some cases) love. Of course you can switch to 'classic' mode, complete with the original visuals, soundtrack, audio and controls, but you can save that for when you're after a harder challenge - as it is you're going to need all the help you can get.
This is, in-part, thanks to the way in which each level plays with a gamer's head - turning expectations against them and forcing a player to make decisions such as 'do I really need to get through that door or will I need it to survive the final run to the exit?'. Keys, ammunition, credits and even 'health' are in short supply, dotted around the map behind closed doors or protected by hordes of enemies willing to soak up your precious ammunition. Thankfully judicious use of your resources will keep you alive, but beware the instant-kill pits and doors waiting to suck up those spare lives.
Team17's re-release features not only the original Alien Breed, but the subsequent 'Special Edition' complete with added levels and new version of the weapons you may have already unlocked. Credits, lives, ammunition and keys all carry on between these modes, so it's in your interest to start off with the brand-new Convergence and work your way up to the epic 'Special Edition'.
Pulling off the rose-tinted glasses for a moment, there are a few issues that can't be ignored. For starters, the twin-stick controls destroy the challenge of the game - being able to run-and-gun makes it so much easier to deal with bad situations instead of being forced to stand your ground in the classic mode. Also, while the special effects weren't exactly amazing in the original, the repetitive squawking of the aliens as they die in the updated version isn't much better. Lastly, should you manage to waste your resources your only options are either to start fresh and try to be more conservative, or cough up money to purchase credits via IAP. Ultimately, these are only quibbles, but worthy of fixing in future updates.
Whether you're a returning fan or an iOS gamer after a top-down shooter that isn't afraid to stack the odds against you, Alien Breed is definitely worth grabbing.
Description"App Store Best of 2012" Award
17th highest reviewed iOS game of 2012 (source - Metacritic)
4/4 - “Must Have” - Alien Breed is a throwback to simpler times that works just as well today as it did back on the Amiga-- possibly even better." - Slide to Play
4.5/5 Stars - “Un-Missable” - “No matter what you do, don’t miss out on Alien Breed.” – TouchGen
5/5 - "An excellent shooter complete with genuine moments of tension that keep you coming back for more." - App Spy
4.5/5 Stars - "Great gameplay, tastefully updated for the modern day." - Modojo
90% - "This is a brilliant conversion that has obviously had a lot of thought and care put into it, with some excellent extras and an impressive amount of content." - The Smartphone App Review
4.5/5 Stars - "The option to change mode to an enhanced version was an excellent idea! The graphics of the game truly stood out and it was a joy to play Alien Breed! Indeed, the developer has retained the appeal of the original Amiga game." - iPad World
The original Alien Breed is back in action, celebrating its 21st Anniversary!
Alien Breed is the classic sci-fi, top-down shooter developed by Team17. Launching originally in 1991, Alien Breed has now been remade for iOS, which can only mean one thing… it’s time to turn down the lights, turn up the sounds and encounter Alien Breed again!
* Classic Mode – Play using the original graphics, music and controls.
* Enhanced Mode – Featuring enhanced graphics, audio and controls.
* 4 New Levels – entirely new levels that intersect with the original Alien Breed story
* 6 original Alien Breed levels
* 12 Alien Breed Special Edition levels
* Game Center leaderboards and achievements
* Retina Display
* Gametel and iCade support