aaSiege1 by aardwearing software limited icon

aaSiege1 ($2.99) by aardwearing software limited is a classic-inspired defender game where you attempt to protect your king longer than the other three opponents. It has instant play, campaign and multiplayer modes.

aaSiege1 by aardwearing software limited screenshot

In many ways, Pong was the genesis of modern gaming. Several decades later aaSiege attempts to capture some of that tried and tested formula while mixing in a few tower defense elements as well. The developers also cite Atari’s game Warlords as inspiration.

The screen is always held in portrait orientation and is divided into quadrants. You have to protect the bottom left corner by moving a shield (which changes from level to level) back and forth to deflect out-of-control projectiles. If your corner is penetrated too many times and your protection is compromised, you lose. If you outlast all three of your opponents, you are the winner.

I’ve never played Atari’s Warlords, so I’m not sure what gaming spirit was supposed to be captured. I do, however, wonder how this title made it past Apple’s app approval process. The controls are hard, the gameplay uncontrollable, inconsistent and, to top it off, the entire process is riddled with glitches. If this was a compelling game, some of that could possibly be overlooked. But, since there is little strategy and only graphical variety, the bugginess almost renders it unplayable.

Fortunately, considerable effort was spent making sure the tutorials explain the goal and purpose. There are also 60 levels, power ups, styles and sound packs to unlock. But all of this does little in the way of convincing you to come back for more when you can’t even wait for the first level to end.

Oh, and the current price is $2.99.

Perhaps aaSiege appeals to a very specific niche of fans of Atari style games. Even so, the gameplay is outside of the interest of the majority of gamers and the issues involved will turn off even the most diehard 8-bit classic lover.