When it comes to gaming, the gyroscope is an often ignored part of the iPhone’s hardware, probably because not everyone has a fourth-generation device. Bullseye Factory, though, is all about the gyro. This game makes your iPhone act as a portal into a virtual shooting gallery overflowing with beach ball-shaped targets just waiting to be popped.
Playing Bullseye Factory is simple and intuitive. There’s a small crosshair in the center of the screen. You aim by moving your phone. You shoot by tapping. That’s all there is to it. It’s the most natural thing in the world, and it’s also a lot of fun.
Popcorn with targets.
The game is split into two modes, with several shooting minigames included in each one. Arcade Mode has five minigames that require you to do things like shoot targets as they’re carried on conveyor belts or as they pop up out of cans, sort of like an artillery-powered whack-a-mole. In this mode the targets come in three different colors, each with a different point value. If you can’t hit them all, you can strategically try to get all the green ones, since they’re worth the most.
Challenge mode is simpler but more playful. This mode primarily uses red targets, with the goal of hitting as many of them as you can. You’ll find seven minigames here, including most of the ones from Arcade mode, but with a few extras that test your memory and shooting accuracy. In both Arcade and Challenge mode, you can play each of the minigames on easy, medium, or hard difficulties.
One of the best things about Bullseye Factory is that it tracks everything you do. You get a bronze, silver, or gold medal for your performance on each minigame, and your high scores are posted both to OpenFeint and Game Center leaderboards. It also stores your overall stats, like how many targets you’ve hit, how many bullets you’ve shot, how accurate you are, and how much time you’ve spent playing. High score games are all about stats, and Bullseye Factory does a great job with stat tracking.
There’s one problem, though. As you play, the game often drifts to the left or right. That is, gyroscopically speaking, your center, your home base, moves, meaning that you have to keep turning your body with it. There’s a ‘recenter’ button in the corner that you can push to fix it, but in the heat of battle, particularly on hard mode, the time it takes to reorient yourself often makes it not worth doing. The graphics aren’t so hot either, but you’ll probably be too focused on hitting the targets to care.
Bullseye Factory is a shooting gallery game in its simplest form. Basically, it’s an artillery playground. What it lacks in graphics it makes up for in target-overload intensity and top notch stat tracking. The nagging gyro issue is a problem, but it’s not enough to kill the rest of the experience.