Inkvaders is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Inkvaders Review

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.

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Inkvaders Hands-On

The App Store has proven to be a profitable market for side-scrolling action games, with titles such as Zombieville USA and Sparta topping the charts. However, we have yet to find the definitive game of the genre. Will Chillingo’s take, Inkvaders, change this for us? We went hands-on with the game to find out.

The premise of Inkvaders is that you play ‘Generic Marine’ (referred to as G) whose mission is to blast away at invading Martians to save Earth. Visually, the game has the hand-drawn style down pat. The high-quality sprites and environments are very detailed, and the notepad spirals along the top of the screen make it all the more ‘realistic’. The developers seem to have kept everything simple to avoid clutter and confusion.

Inkvaders’ story mode consists of three areas: the Moon, an Army base, and a city, each with ten levels. Every stage has you traveling from point A to point B, blasting away as many enemies as possible to achieve higher scores. Once you lose all three lives, it’s game over. Unfortunately, there is no level selection, so you must start from square one every time.

Each stage is increasingly harder, but you have a trusty set of three guns at your side, each of which can be upgraded five times. Upgrades, bullets and health can be bought at vending machines along the way.

What really makes the game different in terms of gameplay is the ability to soar above the battle with a nifty jetpack. As you do so, an energy bar depletes. This mechanic is important for collecting money meteors and avoiding slaughter from oncoming Martian hordes.

We also enjoyed the game’s rampage attacks, which are initiated by picking up certain crates along levels. These pit you against a relentless swarm of Martians for a set amount of time. However, you also reap the benefits both in money and points.

Inkvaders also includes an endurance mode, where players go for endless amounts of levels until they are killed. Experts of the genre who can blaze through the story mode will find increased challenge here. There are also three difficulty levels so that players of all skill levels will feel at home.

It is also important to note the game’s thumping techno-rock soundtrack. This keeps the energy high and fits nicely with the style.

The developer has stated that high scores and achievements through OpenFeint will be added in future updates, which we feel is a must for a high score game such as Inkvaders. However, in its current state Inkvaders is looking like a good deal for the $0.99 asking price. Inkvaders has already been submitted, so hopefully we will see it on the App Store very soon.