Red Nova Review

By , on December 15, 2010

Red Nova
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Clever touch-control system.
  • Clean open visuals with smart-zooming camera.
  • Option to use other iDevices as controllers for the iPad.
  • Ship energy system forces split-second tactical choices.


  • Learning curve for the controls can be challenging.
  • Shield regeneration controls feel awkward to execute.


Red Nova takes a risk by deviating from the standard twin-stick setup for survival shooters, but this polished product pulls it off almost perfectly, if not entirely intuitively; a great addition to the collection of any action fan.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

It's surprisingly rare to find a title on the App Store that seriously considers the limitations of using a small touch screen, but Red Nova by Colin Walsh is amongst that rare breed and after a short while you'll be taking on alien hordes like the hero you're meant to be.

The controls of your prototype fighter take some getting used to, especially if you've played one too many twin-stick shooters, and instead of simply zipping around and firing in all directions you'll have to contend with semi-realistic physics. Pushing your invisible virtual stick around will accelerate you in that direction, but smaller movements can spin you on your axis to allow you to aim independently of your current momentum. Pressing down in the firing area will obviously fire your weapons, however sliding your finger to the left will allow you to burn energy you've earned to use homing missiles and sliding up will activate your current power-up. Energy can also be used to replenish your shields, but be careful as you can only earn more energy by killing enemies or consuming power-ups, destroying them in the process.

There are no other modes to play, though even on the lowest of the three difficulty levels you'll quickly find yourself spinning out in to infinity, albeit with the knowledge that you've completed your job of distracting the alien fleet from your escaping command ship. The visuals are minimalistic, but the interface is clear and easy to follow, while small touches like an auto-zooming camera helps to keep the action in focus.

Red Nova may only be limited to the single gameplay mode, but its execution is almost flawless and perfectly suited for all iDevices. Casual audiences may find the learning curve to be a bit sharp, but it's still an easy game to recommend if you're after a simple, solid action title.


Screenshot 1 of 10 Screenshot 2 of 10 Screenshot 3 of 10 Screenshot 4 of 10 Screenshot 5 of 10 Screenshot 6 of 10 Screenshot 7 of 10 Screenshot 8 of 10 Screenshot 9 of 10 Screenshot 10 of 10