Violet Storm ($0.99) by Sad Cat Software is a gorgeously designed neon arcade shooter that’s similar to Geometry Wars and Hyperlight. This is a no fuss shooter - there’s no storyline and no puzzles to solve, just straight non-stop shooting action.
You don’t need instructions for this game. Your mission? Destroy everything in sight. This is a standard dual-stick shooter, so movement and shooting are controlled with two joystick buttons, which allow you to move forward and fire weapons in any direction.
Enemies will come at you from every which way, swarming around you in an attempt to destroy your ship. In campaign mode, levels start out easy and then ramp up in difficulty, until you’re shooting furiously just to stay alive.
As the game progresses, you can snag power ups that will advance your weaponry, giving you an all new style of shooting that keeps up with the difficulty increase.
There are also power ups that increase damage, repair your ship, and give you 10 seconds of invincibility.
There are two mega weapons, the superbombs, which can be fired by tapping the icons above your shooting stick. You can activate these any time that you’re overwhelmed with enemies.
The green superbomb pushes all enemies away while the blue will blast everything to pieces.
In addition to campaign mode, the game has two other modes: Speed Havoc and Sniper. Speed Havoc is a timed mode where you need to destroy a certain number of enemies before the time runs out, and your score is based on how long it takes you eliminate them. Sniper Mode gives you a powerful weapon with burst shots, and the goal is to shoot as accurately as possible, because score is based on how precisely you fire.
Three difficulty levels, easy, medium, and hard, make this game suitable for a wide range of skill levels. Medium was perfect for me (an eternally mediocre performer in shooter games) while more skilled players might want to take advantage of hard mode.
I’m not normally a fan of shooters, but Violet Storm’s action-oriented gameplay, fast-paced techno music, and visually appealing neon graphics were entirely addictive. The weapons, including a five-way triple bullet blaster and a triple-barrel homing missile launcher, were insane, which made annihilating enemies a fun task. There are no Game Center achievements, but there are leaderboards.
I did notice some serious lag on my iPhone 4 when there were a lot of enemies on the screen, but that was not a problem on my (new) iPad. By the way, if you plan on playing this game, there’s a specific version for the new iPad (Violet Storm HD), but the regular version is universal. I’m a bit peeved that it was designed this way, honestly, since I would have liked to play with Retina graphics without shelling out money twice.
All in all, if you’re a fan of dual stick shooters, specifically in those that are like Geometry Wars, this is a game that you will want to add to your collection, though I’d wait for an update to fix framerate problems if you’re playing on an older device.