by Staff Writer
February 5, 2011
Dual stick shooters seem to be the most popular game style on the part of developers, and the newest such game is Etolis: Arena ($1.99, Universal). It’s a survival shooter where you play as a galactic gladiator fighting to live which is the form of entertainment for your capture. It’s an endless survival match where you try to defeat wave after wave to complete rounds which allows you to move on to different locations. There are all types of futuristic enemies of robots, and new species, but luckily you have innovative weaponry as well. Crystal and Game Center are included for online high scores to track your progression, and the more you play the more points you earn to unlock new modes. The problem is that you can’t just access different game modes which at minimum cost 100,000 credits, and you earn about 1,000 credits every five rounds so it’s going to take awhile, a long while. The game is similar to most other dual stick shooters as you’re pitted in a particular grid, and you try to defeat all the enemies. The game offers nothing new, and on top of that the game just feels like it was released in a beta stage, and just doesn’t have the polish you would expect. There are lag issues that occur relatively often even on the most recent gen iOS devices. The graphics look good, but without it continuously flowing smoothly especially with a lot of action on screen you really can’t appreciate the visuals. The game seems kind of robotic in that every movement doesn’t feel smooth either by you or the enemies, again lacking polish. The gameplay is repetitive and bland as every wave and round seems to play the same, and the game doesn’t really have a frantic or even fast pace like many other shooters. It just seems to move at a slow pace, whether its player and enemy movement or the firing rate of both sides. The dual stick controls usually are smooth on iOS devices, but this particular control set doesn’t really offer the precision you expect especially when firing. The HUD is a bit obtrusive to obscure part of the screen especially on a 3.5” screen. Etolis: Arena doesn’t keep your attention, and it’s not worth your time or money with many better choices in this particular genre, and the App Store overall. The biggest thing is that a few more weeks in development time could have done wonders, as the game just doesn’t really feel finished.