Steamscope HD ($1.99) by Digital Frame Studio is a 3-D forward scrolling steampunk themed game specifically designed for the iPad 2. This complicated maze of pipes and cogs will turn you upside down and leave you wanting more.
The app uses the iPad 2′s internal gyroscope to calibrate the optimal tilt for the player’s position. Since the game moves fast, it is important to have the controls set just right. For players who don’t like using tilt controls with their iPad, they can change to a virtual joystick in the settings section.
The first level is a tutorial and shows players how to move around inside the tunnels while avoiding obstacles like giant cogs or steam pipes. As the levels progress, the obstacles become more difficult to avoid because they move around and there are more of them. Sometimes, the tunnels will split into two directions and players will have the option of going one way or another. This adds to the replay value of the game, since players can choose a different path each time.
The tilt controls are very difficult to get used to at first and the virtual joystick doesn’t work very well. However, after about three levels, the movement makes more sense and it is easier to avoid crashing into walls or obstacles. A nifty Tesla gun gets incorporated into the game after a few levels, which is used to solve puzzles and gain access to new areas.
The graphics are fantastic, and anyone that likes the look of rusted metal cogs and dark stone tunnels will be impressed with the artwork. The soundtrack is fitting, but if it starts to bug you, it can be turned off in the settings section.
Overall, this forward scrolling game for the iPad 2 is very entertaining. Even though the controls seem difficult at first, it ends up being too much fun to put down. Please note that it is only available for the iPad 2. Steamscope HD is on sale for only $1.99 for a limited time. Pick it up in the App Store today.