Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels by Gamelion Studios icon

Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels ($0.99) by Gamelion Studios is an upgraded version of the original ad-supported free version of Monster Shooter.

The game has been overhauled, removing the ads in favor of a pay-to-play model, and adding new content and features, to make Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels one of the best dual stick shooters that I’ve had the pleasure of playing.

If you haven’t played the original Monster Shooter game, this is a level based shooter where your goal is to destroy wave after wave of aliens for the noblest cause imaginable – saving the fluffy white kitten.

As I mentioned, it’s a dual stick shooter, so movement is done with the left joystick and shooting is done with the right. You can choose automatic or manual shooting before each level, adjusting the gameplay to your skill level. New players will want to use automatic shooting, while skilled shooters can use manual controls.

The controls are well calibrated and fluid, which is what makes this game a joy to play, coupled with the fun theme and a visually appealing, colorful art style.

Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels by Gamelion Studios screenshot

As in the original game, you’re given an arsenal of weapons to use against the aliens, from rocket launchers and flame throwers to rail guns and plasma weapons.

Each level is littered with power ups that restore health and increase your damage, and killing aliens leaves behind score multipliers which you need to grab if you want to finish levels with a three star rating.

Aliens also drop cash, which is used to buy and upgrade weapons. Some of the guns are fairly expensive, and while you can supplement your earned cash with in-app purchases, it’s not necessary. You get plenty of cash just playing the game.

In addition to completing levels, you’re also given a series of missions to complete while playing, which consist of tasks like playing with both control schemes, playing with manual and auto mode, or earning a certain amount of cash in a game. After you’ve finished all the missions and story mode, you can also play in survival mode for even more gameplay.

Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels by Gamelion Studios screenshot

So what’s new in this version? There are more enemies, more levels, and more guns, for a total of 60 different levels, 12 weapons, more than 100 missions, and three different planets to fight on. There are also a ton of Game Center achievements to earn for completing each level with flying colors.

While I loved the game, I had a couple of very minor complaints. When playing on my iPad, it was time consuming to have to swipe to switch guns (a tap would work better) and having to select manual or auto aim for every level was irritating. That’s something that should be relegated to the options menu.

Aside from those minor irritations, I was pleased with the solid controls and the well balanced gameplay. It’s never too hard or too easy, meaning it’s always a lot of fun to play.

Of course, any dual stick shooter can get repetitive after awhile, so Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels is best played in short bursts of time, but it’s perfect for that purpose.

If you’re a fan of shooters, or even if you’re not and you’re just looking for a great game this week, you won’t go wrong with Monster Shooter: The Lost Levels.