Do you ever doodle in the margins of notebook paper? Scribble out an alien invasion on the moon, perhaps? Sketch in a marine to blow Martian brains across the cratered landscape? Well, according to legend (as reported in the game’s marketing copy), that was the genesis of the game Inkvaders, the new side-scrolling shooter from Games Faction.
As the hand-drawn hero, it’s up to you and you alone to defeat the endless waves of Martian baddies. To wreak your havoc, you can switch between a laser, a gun, and a rocket launcher. It is in your favor that the aliens carry weak lasers that can only shoot at very close range, but what they lack in munitions they make up for in sheer numbers. These buggers are everywhere.
Catch that comet.
The controls are superb. Onscreen buttons allow you to move left, right, shoot, and jump. You tap power-ups to collect them and tap vending machines to purchase weapons, ammo, health, and jet pack fuel. Graphically, this game impresses as well. The whole thing is drawn in an appealing cartoony style. Killing aliens results in an abundance of gore that is very satisfying, and there’s usually something interesting happening in the background.
The problem is that there’s not enough to the game. It’s missing leaderboards and a multiplayer mode. Level design is nonexistent. There are no platforms or pits, and aside from the vending machines and power-ups, there’s nothing at all to interact with in the environment. All you do is walk to the right and kill aliens. The enemies, which either come at you from the left or the right, have various sprites and animations, but they all attack you with the same short-range laser.
Off with their heads.
Money is represented by collectible Martian rocks and comets. You spend these to upgrade your weapons, but the weapon upgrades are so expensive that you can only purchase one every five or six levels. And, you’ll need to purchase them, because as you progress the aliens come in greater numbers and can absorb more damage. Maintaining a one shot kill is essential.
Inkvaders starts as a fun diversion, full of character and silly gore. But with every level being almost exactly the same and gun upgrades few and far between, you’ll be ready to move on to another game before you get to the second world.
If you want some mindless fun and keep your expectations low, this game might be worth the small asking price. If you’re looking for something with a little depth, there are plenty of alien invasions to fight off elsewhere in the App Store.