‘Gawd damn’ would be the operative phrase we’d use to describe Meteor Blitz. In the iPhone’s short history, there haven’t been many games that deliver a first and lasting impression like this game does. Meteor Blitz is a dual-stick shooter that’s mechanically in the vein of iDracula or Alive-4-Ever, but that’s where the comparisons end. To give you an idea of how amazing this shooter is, you’d have to compare it to the extraordinary Super Stardust HD on the PS3, which bodes very well for Meteor Blitz.
This dual-stick shooter places you in charge of a ship that’s in orbit around six themed worlds. You have to essentially blow up anything and everything that moves, as quickly as possible. Aided by a subtle red indicator that points out what the mission-critical meteors and enemies are, Meteor Blitz is a skill-based shooter that’s fundamentally sound in every possible way.
Surrounded by cursors!
To take on the challenges you’ll face throughout the main Arcade mode, you’re equipped with three weapons to dynamically change your strategy on the fly. Switching up your use of the plasma gun, flamethrower, and ice cannon allow you to efficiently clear areas and rack up big points for your score. Any of the weapons will eventually destroy its targets, but understanding the weaknesses of each enemy yields faster kills.
As a quick example, ice meteors are much easier to destroy using a flamethrower rather than the plasma gun. Should it get too hectic, you can deploy a bomb and obliterate everything onscreen. With each successful kill, enemies leave behind yellow rings. These rings are the game’s currency to upgrade your weapons and maneuverability between levels. Considering that each world progressively gets harder, with more elusive enemy objects and tougher bosses, we’re happy to see that the game scales up nicely to remain challenging without being cheap.
Thankfully the control mechanics are sublime in Meteor Blitz. With the movement and shooting being handled on the left and right virtual joysticks respectively, we’re happy to say that you will not find any cheap deaths here. In an innovative nod to the realities of on-the-go iPhone gaming, removing your thumbs from the screen triggers an automatic pause.
Rotating weapons and launching bombs are executed through nicely placed onscreen buttons. Double-tapping a direction on the left virtual joystick initiates a boost maneuver. This rechargeable technique not only provides a quick speed boost, but it also destroys anything that’s in its path, making it a slick way to attack clusters of enemies. Call it being picky, but a subtle vibration effect on boost maneuvers would have been a visceral touch to really add to the sensation of boosting.
This game is packed with intense outer spacey action.
As exhilarating and fun as the gameplay is, the graphical prowess of Meteor Blitz cannot be emphasized enough. Each of the six 3D worlds have a unique design direction, and the 3D modeled objects and effects are lavish and flashy. Even with the eyegasm going on before you, the frame rate never flinches one iota. On top of that, there’s a high quality electronica soundtrack that puts the cherry on this visually explosive sundae.
We’re digging the extra considerations made to give Meteor Blitz long-term legs. Every game is internet connected, and your online ranking gets dynamically updated as you fly. You’ll be feeling mighty pleased with yourself by leapfrogging hundreds of competitors in real time. Along with the main Arcade mode that unlocks worlds, there’s also a Survival mode that’s all about hanging on as long as you can. If that’s not enough, there are over 25 achievements that range in difficulty.
Meteor Blitz is the complete package in every way. If you want a game with gorgeous visuals, skill-based shooting, perfect controls, online connectivity, and replay value, look no further.
Can you say, ‘Must Have?’