Etolis: Arena Review

By , on February 8, 2011

Etolis: Arena
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Straight action sci-fi action shooter gameplay; easy to pick up.
  • Alternative unlockable modes and content.
  • Auto-aim feature for casual gamers.


  • Poor collision detection; weapons can shoot through close enemies.
  • Graphical glitches; poor performance on high quality settings and other issues including models remaining upright after death.
  • No control customization options.


Etolis: Arena is a weak twin-stick shooter that suffers thanks to numerous small flaws and odd design choices.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

With an arcade puzzle title already under their belt, developer Facet Studios has turned their hands towards something a little more action oriented with their Chillingo released title, Etolis: Arena. In what is now a fairly familiar situation for iOS gamers, you'll be pitted against waves of enemies that need to be mowed down in succession in order to survive this twin-stick genre death trap.

There's not much in the way of control customization and players will need to stick to the standard control configuration of moving around each arena with the left analogue stick while shooting and aiming with the right stick. An auto-aim system is available for all but the highest of the game's difficulties, though this isn't without its issues as it's prone to switch targets based on the direction you're moving and the proximity of enemies near you. Making full use of the game's additional gameplay elements, such as changing weapons; initiating special attacks; or throwing a grenade can be awkward as the buttons are placed at a distance from your analogue sticks, making them less of an intuitive tactical options compared to simply blasting enemies with your current weapon.

A lot of detail has gone in to the game's sci-fi theme, with six bright, colorful and varied arenas (three of which must be unlocked over time) and interesting character designs for the enemies and environments rounding things out. Unfortunately it's hard to appreciate the artwork as poorly conceived special effects constantly obscure objects and turning on the high-quality visual options results in stuttering, jerky moments that can kill the game's flow (and even your character).

A multitude of other minor issues including a dynamic camera that swings back and forth awkwardly; the inability to examine objects before buying them; and the incessant buzzing chatter of a robot taunting your character gives the game an unpolished feel. With so many other excellent twin-stick titles already available to choose from it's hard to recommend Etolis: Arena, but hardcore action fans may still get a kick out of its harder gameplay modes.


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