Silverfish Review

Fairly or not, silverfish have the reputation of being disgusting creatures that infest your house, slither across your floor, and laugh at you from underneath their adamantium shells when you try to crush them. The folks behind the iPhone game Silverfish are looking to turn that image around by putting you in control of one of these little critters and getting him in way over his head.

If you’ve played Tilt To Live, then you know pretty much what to expect from Silverfish. You control a bug that’s trapped in an area the size of the screen, while groups of enemies continually appear around you. The enemies come in a variety of types, which determines whether they’re fast or slow, whether they chase you or follow a set path, etc. In the end there’s no question about it– you’re going to die. How many points you score in the meantime is what matters.

Someone call the exterminator.

Your primary defenses against these buggers are bombs that appear in random locations around the screen. Touch these, and they’ll blow up, killing the enemies nearby. Depending on what mode you’re playing, you also have a limited-use weapon that either clears the screen or slows down time. When the enemies die, they leave tiny protons in their wake, which you can pick up for extra points and to refill your health meter.

Three modes are available in the game: Reaper, Onslaught, and Scavenger. In Reaper mode– our favorite– the enemies are almost always chasing you, which makes for seriously intense gameplay. When your health meter fills up, you become invincible, and the enemies flee at your approach like the ghosts in Pac-Man after he eats a power pellet. Scavenger and Onslaught modes are pretty similar to one another, except that you can only take three hits in Onslaught mode before game over.

Red with anger.

Our biggest complaint is that the modes don’t feel all that different from one another. You’re always doing the same basic thing– avoiding and killing enemies. Perhaps if additional unique weapons were added to the modes they’d feel more different.

Aside from that, the game is a heck of a lot of fun. The controls are great; the graphics are crisp, colorful, and modern-looking; and the animation is silky smooth. While we can’t quite recommend Silverfish over Tilt To Live, it’s still a very satisfying game that’s sure to get your heart racing. Pick it up if you can handle it.

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