Thursday, August 25, 2011

Silverfish, $1.99 (By Chaotic Box) (iPhone or iPad)

   Today I am reviewing a game that got a lot of praise but sales weren't up to its quality, and I don't know why. As one man developer Frank Condello made a masterpiece called Silverfish, and after some fans asked (and begged) for the game to be enhanced with the iPad screen size, he released Silverfish MAX. Maybe it looked like a Tilt to Live clone with awesome looks, and I don't blame you if you think that, I thought it at the very beginning, but I can assure you that Silverfish is a different beast.

   Silverfish is starred by one those ugly insects the are found in basements and such dark places. But here, it's beautiful, as it's made in a shiny and flashy neon visual style that just pours quality all done in Retina Display. Every single aspect of this visual feast is wrapped in neon perfection: the enemies are varied and very detailed, our main character is gorgeous and the enviroment is as good at the rest of the visual package. The games music fits very well the action, and oh man you got some action ahead, as this in one the most frantic experiences I've had, ever.

   You control Silverfish by swiping in the direction you want to go or with a D-pad, but you can only move in the four cardinal directions in the battlefield: up, down, left and right. Thats right, like Pac-Man, but in an open warzone, where you can move anywhere... but then, there are neon monsters, and unlike Tilt to Live, here you have health bar, called POW bar and can sustain some enemies collisions, but then again, that is a bad thing to do if you want to crush them. 
   Theres four completely different modes in this game and on each of them you have different gameplay and great depth, because as you do your slaugther, new and bigger enemies slowly appears on the battelfield, and they tend to try and overwhelm you all the time. And each mode has its own mix of enemies, so it makes each mode unique in objective and enemie patterns. That's right, each enemy has its own pattern, and there is a lot of different foes. Trying to guess the pattern of particular enemies (they usually come together, like a band, to kill you with their superior numbers) while reaching the next pod is really challenging, So you will be surfing the screen constanlty avoiding enemies and reaching Power Pods, and for that controls should work well, and they are indeed very responsive, both controls options available. Perfect... now onto the modes:

   -Haste: You start with 1 life and full POW bar with three vigor powers (tap the screen for a huge blast, this comes very handy and it refills while scoring higher and higher). Your objetive is to collect Power Pods, when you reach it, your POW bar refills completely and you enter in a killing frenzy mode where you kill any enemie you touch, but it doesn't last long, and when it expires (Silverfish starts to blink to tell you it's finishing) and have to carefully reach the next power pod evading all enemies while trying to reach it. Over and over. 

   -Scavenger: Same as the Haste mode, but here when you reach the power pod, it explodes, killing enemies nearby and you have to collect what they leave behind, Proton, to recharge your pow and stay alive as long as possible. Its the endurance mode. [Image] 

   -Onslaught: You start with 4 lives and 3 bombs. Hit an enemy and loose a life. If you collect Protons (the stuff you leave behind) you multiply your score, and there's no power pow bar here. Bonus lives are awarded when reaching certain high scores. The game ends when you run out of lives. This is for the scoring adventurer.
   -Reaper: Reaper is like Haste, but more forgiving. You start with 1 life and 50% POW, with 3 time shocks (slows enemies down for a little bit). POW drains over time so have to continually collect pods to survive. When you reach Max POW, you become invulnerable and can eat enemies to get bonuses to multiply your score. 

   So as you can see there's quite a bit of different gameplay in each of them, one for each necessity you have. Gameplay is a lot like pac-man, but brought into the new age. Its also like Tilt to Live, but with a lot of variations to have a different experience. If you didn't like TtL because of the tilting, I really recommend you grab this game, it's a similar concept but with on screen controls. Its fun, challenging, and best of all, good. Replayability is very high, all modes are awesome, theres GameCenter integration with Leaderboards and plenty of achievements to make this game last even longer. So go ahead, and if you like what it has to offer, buy it. It's really good, so good it's the second app I have on my iPhone and also, this one will never be deleted.

iPhone version: 

iPad version: 

Haste mode:

Official Video:


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