Odd Issey HD ($1.99) by criistii is one big bag of mixed nuts, in both art style and gameplay.
The game offers a steampunk look at dual-stick shooting, sporting 31 levels, loads of upgrades, and one heck of a unique story.
The premise of Odd Issey HD isn’t quite as odd as the app’s title would suggest: A mad scientist by the name of Issey is traveling through the universe when his spaceship is grounded by accident. To his surprise, the planet is inhabited, and he must fend for his life and craft with the pistols he carries.
The gameplay itself has the night gowned madman careening about the face of the planet shooting baddies as they approach. Enemies will vary from level to level, but the concept remains the same across the board -- players blast baddies with the right stick and move Issey about with the left. Blow up enough of the buggers, and the game passes you on to the next level.
Odd Issey HD includes a fair number of power-ups to keep things interesting, including dual-pistol blasting, explosive bombs, an iron fist, a saw blade, and even a burning path of destruction. Each of these can be purchased in the upgrades shop for points, which are earned by just playing the game.
All in all, Odd Issey HD is a tight package with an incredible amount of quirkiness. The art style alone is worth checking out, as it features steampunk colors and a garish crookedness. Enemies the player must face are varied and creative, which is a tremendous boon, as the level itself does not change.
This lack of variety in scenery is mimicked by the lack of innovation in the rest of the game. At times Odd Issey HD can feel repetitive, especially as the location and goal never change. Though the myriad of enemies serves to keep things inventive, it’s not quite enough to stretch across all 31 levels offered.
The included upgrade system is the best incentive to play through the whole title. The drive to improve Issey’s weapons and abilities is attractive, which is a shame, as one must play the game quite a bit to achieve any real traction.
That being said, the developers have created a truly comprehensive array of improvements that compliment Odd Issey HD to the letter.
Game Center integration would have added a much needed edge to the mix, especially with leader boards and achievements. Likewise, cooperative play would have fit perfectly with Issey’s angry, planet-bound ramblings.
All complaints aside, the price is right, as Odd Issey HD clocks in at a comfortable $1.99 in the App Store. For that price, players will get more than two dozen hard-blasting levels of alien-busting fun.
The gameplay can be repetitive, and though the art style is quirky and fun, it’s not quite enough to sustain the title all the way through. Odd Issey HD is still an engaging action title for the iPad, especially for fans of steampunk, odd art styles, or extraterrestrial shoot-em-ups.