Like any other gaming platform, the iPhone is bound to have its fair share of lemons’”games that the developer should pay you to play, instead of the other way around. Cybersaurus 3D is one such game. It’s an ugly, half-finished hash of a mech combat game, and you shouldn’t waste any more time on it than it takes to read this review.
Cybersaurus 3D spins a crazy yarn about evil robot dinosaurs invading the galaxy in the far future. You have to fight fire with fire by climbing into your own robot dino and stomping around an assortment of alien worlds. It turns out that there is a series of tasks you need to complete in a certain order to win, but the game tells you next to nothing about where to go or what to do. Instead, you get to aimlessly tour each of the game’s five worlds until you run into a mainframe, a neural link, or some other such claptrap, only to be told that you’re acting out of order. For instance, we picked up something called an ‘X-Bomb’ at one point, but we never figured out where to put it to advance the story.
While fruitlessly trying to puzzle out Cybersaurus 3D’s absent narrative, you’ll also have to deal with the dinobot baddies, who don’t cut you any slack. Some of them strafe you from the air; others roll around on the ground and shoot rockets at you; and still others aren’t dinos at all, but stationary machinegun turrets.
The game’s combat is even less fun than its exploration element, which hardly seems possible. Drawing a bead on the bad guys is exceedingly difficult–whether you’re using the unwieldy touch buttons or the overly sensitive accelerometer controls–and the weapons, which range from plasma cannons to rockets, are about as exciting as your average law school exam. We were not surprised to find that defeated enemies pop like pixelated balloons, instead of producing proper explosions.
In fact, Cybersaurus 3D’s entire graphical outlook hails from the very, very early days of OpenGL, from more than a decade ago. The game’s environments are swathed in garish, low-resolution textures, and all of the objects are built out of simple polygons. The action doesn’t run very smoothly, either, even under such rudimentary circumstances. The sound effects stand out as competent in this sea of mediocrity, but they’re still nothing to write home about.
If Apple is going to spend any time regulating the quality of products available on the App Store, it should really start with games like Cybersaurus 3D, which are bad enough to permanently turn unwary customers away from iPhone gaming. Until it does, be sure to give this disaster a wide berth.