Siberian Strike revisits old top down shooters and puts a new look on it. The number of top-down shooters on the market might seem a little overwhelming, but with some added features and a 3D design, Gameloft’s latest title shines amid a crowded pack.
The game features a short story mode — stop a Soviet cyborg with your plane, yadda, yadda — with multiple difficulty levels in addition to an online co-op multiplayer mode. As for the controls, you can switch between touch or tilt controls. A ranking system, which allows you to rank up as you gain point throughout the levels, is nice inclusion as well.
The gameplay is entertaining, tossing in a few new enemies every level. With unlimited ammo, it basically boils down to dodging projectiles as your plane dishes out hot lead, courtesy of European tax Euros. Powerups are plentiful. “Team attack,” where it joins all three playable characters into a squadron, being a clear standout.
Each mission consists of two levels, with boss battles capping each one — the first usually being a warmup, the second being the conclusion. Every few missions there will be a level that switches into full 3D, which forces you to dodge falling objects, walls and take out a few missile bases along the way.
There are a few frustrations, of course. Multiplayer co-op is handled locally through Wifi, and it comes with all the shortcomings of such a system. Playing a multiplayer game requires a lot more coordination and planning than most players are likely to put up with.
While the touch controls work reasonably well, the tilt controls aren’t as smooth as they could be. Being able to play with one hand is nice, and calibration makes it easy, but tilting doesn’t provide the type of nimbleness and precision that a top-down shooter like this requires.
Everything else about the game is great, from the gameplay to the graphic polish. Even the narrator gives the game that old arcade feel. This game has an abundance of good put into it, no doubt. With a few little fixes, this game could be a classic for the iPhone.