Warblade HD ($2.99) by Edgar Vigdal is the scaled-up version of the classic Warblade for iPhone title. The bigger flavor comes with all the sci-fi spices you’d expect, bringing classic arcade shoot-em-up gameplay to the iPad’s larger screen.
If Warblade HD is said to be anything, it’s a classic Space Invaders clone with a heap of great additions. The app comes with the same wave-blasting fun you’d expect of such a remake, but also sports enough power-ups and retro graphics to entertain even the most hardcore of arcade fans.
You play as the captain of a holdout starship, facing off against an armada of alien warships. By swiping from side to side and blasting away, you will defeat enemies, collect power-ups and advance through the various waves. The game also offers a timed mode, which gives you three minutes to score as many points as possible.
Warblade HD’s graphics are wonderfully retro. The glitchy bit style will tickle any arcade fan’s funny bone, while the classic soundtrack will keep them engaged. A plot is absent, as it should be with a game like Warblade HD. What remains is a wealth of baddie blasting gameplay that has no pretensions about its simpleton nature.
Not that there’s anything particularly simple about Warblade HD, the game’s concept is easy to pick up (shoot the enemies and avoid their projectiles), but the neverending chain of specials keeps things fresh and complex. Not to mention the horde of truly inventive baddies.
Warblade HD doesn’t settle for generic Space Invaders enemies, but rather substitutes a cavalcade of sci-fi horrors that’ll have you saying, “Woah, that’s awesome!” more times than you’re likely comfortable with.
Warblade HD isn’t all golden arcade bliss, however. I found the controls particularly irritating, even with the three different options provided. Rather than giving players an on-screen joystick and fire pad, users are forced to either tilt or touch from the left to the right to move their ship. Especially with auto-fire initiated, the process can become clunky and awkward, a truly negative combination when you’re only a hair away from an enemy missile.
That being said, the number of stats the in-game leader board tracks is impressive, to say the least. In classic arcade style, you will never be without an initiative to best your previous scores, as Warblade HD tracks just about every number worth looking at: Including your times, in case you’re into speed beating games.
All in all, Warblade HD is a fantastically simple yet inventively rich arcade title for the iPad. The graphics are great, the gameplay will have you geeking out, and the copious amounts of stat tracking will keep you playing. Whether you’re a fan of arcade games, Space Invaders, or quality iPad time wasters, you won’t want to miss Warblade HD.