Updated: iDracula – Undead Awakening Review

The iDracula 1.1 update makes this already phenomenal action game even better. It adds two new weapons (a flamer and a chainsaw), a handful of new enemies, two new maps, and two new game modes: Super Survive and Wave Attack, where you can pause to buy upgrades in between enemy attacks.

In addition, there are several new kinds of powerups (like speed and rate-of-fire boosts), new perks, and one of our pet peeves–weapon selection–has been fixed. This is an absurdly large update by App Store standards, and it’s put iDracula even further ahead of the competition.

Chillingo announced overnight the release of iDracula Lite, a free version of its popular undead-slaying action game. For anyone who missed it at $0.99 after the recent update bumped the price up to $2.99, this free version will at least get the Prince of Darkness in your hands if you’ve been on the fence.

Find it at the App Store.

iDracula is back at $0.99 for a limited time. Chillingo didn’t say how long, but 2 bucks is 2 bucks. iDracula Lite last week and now this sale? They’re really trying to sell this thing, aren’t they?

Though iDracula – Undead Awakening is a pretty ridiculous title, the game itself is anything but. First, it absolutely nails the frenetic, seat-of-your-pants action found in classic dual-stick shooters like Smash TV… then it adds just a touch of Diablo to the mix to turn you into a total junkie! iDracula has room to grow in many ways, but it’s so much fun to watch and play that we’re giving it our highest score.

One might reasonably assume that you play as the Prince of Darkness himself in iDracula. No! You’re playing some Van Helsing wannabe who wants to kill Dracula–as many times as necessary–after slaughtering his monstrous minions by the hundreds and thousands. There’s no happy ending, though; they just keep coming until you die and post your new high score.

The virtual thumbstick in the lower left-hand corner of the screen controls movement, while the opposite one aims and fires your weapon. Virtual d-pads and buttons get a game into trouble when you have to intermittently tap them, but these controls work marvelously for iDracula, as there’s never any reason to stop moving or shooting.

The gameplay could not have been tuned any better, in our opinion. Your movement, your rate of fire, the power of your weapons, the number and toughness of your enemies, and the powerups you grab… all of these values fit together seamlessly. The weapons are satisfying to use, the enemies die ugly deaths (although it looks kind of funny when they explode into bits), and the game keeps the pressure building at all times. The gothic headbanger tune thumping away in the background really puts you in a killing mood, too.

iDracula also has a hint of RPG to it–just the right amount to give you the thrill of growing more powerful, without being cumbersome or interrupting in any way. These experience-based bonuses, called perks, make your life a little easier in a particular area. For instance, your magic crossbow may start shooting a fan of three arrows instead of one, or powerups may start to gravitate towards you. Some perks are definitely more useful than others, and we wish there were a wider selection, but it’s awesome they’re there at all.

Our one major complaint the gameplay involves the dial you have to flick to change weapons. This thing simply doesn’t work right, and it takes too long to use in the middle of an undead explosion. It’s not a huge deal, because the game auto-switches you to the most powerful gun you have ammo for, but it should still be replaced with something more functional.

iDracula definitely lacks scope. There are only a handful of basic enemy types (heavily palette-swapped as they get more powerful) and two modes–one where you kill everything the usual way, and one where you kill everything using a chaingun with unlimited ammo. You play on a single background.

But you know what? Peeling Dracula’s cap back never seems to get old. Yes, the game’s repetitive, but it’s the kind of repetitive that makes you want to jump right back in again for another go. We’re definitely not done playing it, even though our review’s over.

We suggest you buy iDracula immediately. It’s currently on sale for 99 cents, which is ludicrous, but it’ll be a great buy at the full price of $2.99 as well.

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