Groundskeeper2 ($1.99) by Pascal Bestebroer and Orangepixel is a fast-paced action arcade game that is all about survival. If you like games that just throw you into the middle of the action, then you’ll love Groundskeeper2.
When it comes to iOS games, some of my favorites are action-packed games that are just about how long I can last. I love these because they can be played in short bursts, or sessions that last hours on end as I try to beat my score from the previous run. And of course, I like them because they’re easy to pick up and play, and the simple gameplay is enough to keep you coming back for more. With Groundskeeper2, you will get all of this, along with a side of humor.
The visuals in Groundskeeper2 are delightful, especially if you grew up with the vintage game consoles, since it makes full use of 16-bit visuals. Despite the old-school graphics, everything is lush and full of detail, though you probably won’t notice too much as you frantically shoot down everything in front of you. The game’s animations are also very fluid, without any lag in response time, so you should have no problem with the controls. The game also features an action-packed soundtrack to go along with the feverish gameplay.
There’s only one game mode in Groundskeeper2, but that’s all you need. On your first play, you will die rather quickly, since you are basically just thrown into the middle of a war with an invading alien race with little to nothing to defend yourself with.
As you die and start a new run, you will eventually find a scientist that will figure out how the aliens are invading, which is through portals powered by their own “bits’n’bobs.” You’ll be able to take advantage of this by collecting those pieces as you defeat them and porting yourself to new locations. The scientist will be able to beam different weapons down to you as well, aiding you in battle.
You start out each game with a little bit of health, and a basic laser gun, and enemies will drop down from above. To move your character, just use the directional buttons in the bottom left of the screen. The buttons on the right allow you to fire your weapon, as well as jump onto boxes and avoid dangers. There’s no need to repeatedly tap the attack button to fire — just hold down on it and you will continue to fire a stream of bullets. However, doing this can slow you down a bit, since there is a kickback with the gun, so only do it when necessary, as you are sacrificing a bit of mobility.
As you defeat enemies, they will drop shiny bits’n’bobs, which you need to collect to open up a portal to a new location. The weapons that the scientist beams down to you can also be collected just by having your character go over them, and they will provide a boost for a brief amount of time, so take advantage of them. These include machine and laser guns, rocket launchers, and more. There will also be tools to help your defenses, such as time slowdowns, shields, laser beams, and more.
The boxes that drop down can help you get some ground against your enemies, but it’s best to blow them up and collect the goods contained within. You will be able to find more bits’n’bobs within, or even vital hearts to refill your health, which is always visible above your character to make it easy to keep track.
The game features Game Center support for leaderboards (the number of bits’n’bobs you collect) and achievements, so it adds to the game’s already high replay value. The game also features procedural (randomized) levels each game with different enemies and areas, so you will never have the same experience twice.
I’m really enjoying Groundskeeper2 so far, and it’s definitely a game I’ll be coming back to over and over again. The visuals are wonderful with their 16-bit charm, the soundtrack is upbeat and captivating, the humor is a very nice addition, and the hectic gameplay is quite challenging the more you play. And the best part is the fact that there are no in-app purchases or boosts to purchase, so the game relies on your skill if you want to be good at it.
I recommend picking this up if you’re looking for an addictive and frenetic arcade shooter survival game this week. You can get Groundskeeper2 on the App Store as a universal download for $1.99.