Nightlings ($1.99) by Shizapp Interactive is a wacky strategy game that has you fending off bedroom monsters with spit wads and meatloaf.
Can you remember those nights when, as a child, when you couldn’t help but keep your eyes fixed on the closet door, just waiting for it to open? Those nights when you couldn’t afford to close your eyes for a second, for fear of the monsters that were poised to attack at any moment? Nightlings gives you a chance to get revenge on those monsters that kept you awake for so long.
The game is laid out in a very simple manner. You, the child, are set up in a small fort on the left side of the screen. The monsters appear from the right side and shuffle towards you at varying speeds. To begin with, you have only a spit wad gun to defend yourself; but, as you progress through the levels you will be able to unlock and purchase more powerful weaponry (like the meatloaf launcher).
There is a multitude of monsters for you to destroy. The monsters progressively get stronger and quicker which forces you to keep upgrading your weaponry. There is an in-game shop where you can purchase weapons with goobers – a form of in-game currency that is collected from defeated monsters. If you find yourself running short on goobers, you can throw down a few real bucks in the IAP shop to stock up.
What I enjoyed most about the game is that the controls worked perfectly. While in battle, your arsenal of weapons is shown on the bottom of the screen. Tap to select a weapon and tap the monster that you want to shoot. It’s that simple. Each weapon has a set cool down period before it can be used again. This system works extremely well and has you switching back and forth between various weapons to keep the monsters back (this also gets you combo bonuses).
Despite the simple controls and gameplay mechanics, Nightlings gets more complex as you progress through the levels. Initially, the monsters only come from the right hand side, but later on some monsters will appear from the left as well. These monsters try to steal your stuff (like socks and keys), but are easily defeated with a single tap. Also, you will encounter bosses (these are just huge monsters with a ton of health) towards the end of some levels.
All in all, Nightlings manages to stand out amongst the mob of strategy games in the App Store. With 48 levels and a story mode and endless mode for each of the eight different stages, Nightlings is no short game. The huge variety of weapons and monsters is a big plus, and the addition of an endless mode provides a huge boost to the replay value. I heartily recommend Nightlings to any gamer, not only for the solid gameplay, but also for the appeal of fending off those bedroom monsters you couldn't when you were younger.