Shoot-‘˜em-ups aren’t exactly in short supply on the iPhone, but at $0.99, who doesn’t have room for one more? And as far as these games go, Ring Blade is certainly worth a buck for fans of the genre, thanks in no small part to its simple, well-implemented gameplay and a distinctive, tribal art look.
Ring Blade really is a modernized and artistic take on the arcade classic Space Invaders. You control a ship that stays at the bottom of the screen and only moves left or right, while enemy forces come at you in waves from above. Where the game deviates from the standard Space Invaders-style gameplay is that you can charge and aim your shots right or left. Another nice twist is that the rings you’re firing bounce off the sides of the screen, enabling you to do trick shots.
Peep my tat.
The controls are simple. You slide your finger right or left to move the ship. Hold down your finger on the ship and it charges up, then flick in the direction you wish to shoot to let the destructive ring of energy go. Much like Space Invaders, you can only fire a few shots at a time. Once those shots disperse, you can fire more. Since hitting enemies is what causes your shots to disappear, you’ll need good aim to keep a constant rate of fire.
Ring Blade sports 30 levels of hectic shooting action. There’s a fair variety of things to shoot, from small circular bits to larger and more ornate shapes. All the visuals in the game could be seen as space craft, bizarre organic creatures, or just aggressive art. The graphic style is definitely engagingly creative, and the nearly monochromatic color scheme lends an extra bit of panache.
At its core, Ring Blade is a very simplistic game that relies on dumping scores of bad things on top of your ship in lieu of any actual gameplay variety. That’s not a major criticism though. Ring Blade takes the Space Invaders-motif in a creative and fun direction. The controls are excellent and the visuals are great. Overall, this is an easy pick for shooter fans in search of a new thrill.