Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Devourer - 0.99 (Li Min)

Devourer is a new drag-collect-dodge arcade game from Li Min, in the same vein as Bit Pilot and Runaway UFO, but with more emphasis on collecting objects than dodging them, though the dodging element is still there. In Devourer, you’ll drag a black hole around the screen, sucking up all the green, blue, and yellow invaders, while avoiding the red ones. It’s a very simple game, but once you get into it, and understand the scoring, and start using the items in the shop, it becomes very addicting, and really, a very nice little arcade game.

The controls are set up nicely, using relative touch to control the black hole, meaning you can place your finger anywhere on the screen in order to drag the black hole around the screen. This makes it easier to see all the invaders around your black hole, and a whole lot more comfortable.
There are two different game modes in Devourer, Classic, and Survival. In Classic Mode, you’ll drag your black hole around the screen collecting the “normal”, or blue, invaders, which there are two different kinds, a regular invader, worth 20 points, and a type of super invader, worth 80 points, “bonus”, or green, invaders, which add 1 to your multiplier, and “bomb”, or yellow, invaders, that blow up everything on the screen. There’s also red, or “toxic” invaders. If you hit one of these, they will reset your multiplier, and drop you 100 points, along with coins that randomly appear on the screen, and give you 5 gold points. You’ll have 2 minutes to try and get the highest score you can, and can not die before the 2 minutes is up.
In Survival Mode, you’ll have all the same types of invaders, along with the random coins, and the goal is to not let any blue invaders escape the screen, and to not hit any red invaders. If you hit a red invader, or miss a blue invader before it disappears off the side of the screen, you’ll loose a life, and have 3 lives total. The amount of time you survive is your high score.
Both Modes let you use spells. Within the store, you can buy these spells, which can be equipped in the hotspots on the right side of the screen. Some of these include Shrink, which makes all of the invaders 30% smaller, Freeze, which slows down all the invaders, Slack, which reduces the rate of invaders by half, and many more. These power-up type spells will help out greatly when trying to achieve a high-score, though there are only a couple that will really, really get that high-score up when combined. For instance, I like to use Burst, which doubles the amount of invaders, Bless, which destroys all Toxic invaders, and prevents more from being spawned, and Double, which doubles the points. Using all 3 of these together will usually shoot your score up about 250,000 points, or more depending on when you use them. Each of the spells has a set amount of time that it will last, and you can only use the spells once after you buy them. This adds quite a bit of strategy to the gameplay, as you’ll need to find out what spells work best for your style of play, and when to use them.
The graphics in Devourer are done pretty well. There are movement animations for each of the invaders, making it look like they’re swimming through space. Along with the rock type soundtrack, it’s all got a pretty nice atmosphere. Considering this game comes from the same developer of Tap Burst, I’d say it’s quite a step up from the previous game, and has given me pretty high hopes for the future of Li Min.
With GameCenter and OpenFeint support, 2 leader boards, and 21 achievements that will take you quite a bit of time to unlock, and the two different game modes, Devourer has endless replay ability. The scoring system is set up very nicely, and the addition of the shop and toxic invaders add quite a bit of strategy to the game. It could use a bit more polish, and maybe more items in the shop, along with more enemy types, but for $0.99, it’s a great buy, packed with loads of action, and will give you hours upon hours of addictive gameplay.

Devourer is getting a score of 8 out of 10.



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