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Issue 13.4 ('"El Capitan"')
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REVIEW

Pixel Space War (iOS)

Issue: 13.4 (July/August 2015)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,035
Starting Page Number: 12
Article Number: 13402
Related Link(s): None

Full text of article...

This is a Xojo-made game for iOS mentioned at XDC 2015, so I thought I'd try it out. It is a modern-retro take on Space Invaders, with cool pixelated ships and fast game-play. It's impressive in terms of graphics, music, animation, and cool game-play, but lacking in other ways.

For instance, getting into the game is odd—instead of a start pushbutton, you drag a radio button slider. Once you're playing, there's no way to pause or quit a game. Pressing the Home button exits, but when you return, you're at the same point in the game. Once all your lives are over, the game offers you to "slide to restart" but no other options. That's odd, because on the initial launch you're offered a "scan lines" slider. The only way I could get back to that screen, however, was to force quit the app.

Most unfortunately, there are zero instructions on how to work the game. There's no info about what the "scan lines" option does (when I tried it, it seemed to start a new game and I couldn't tell anything different, though possibly the graphics are drawn differently). Besides the bizarre controls to get the game going, I never could figure out how to move my ship! Tapping the screen shoots, but nothing I did made the ship move from side to side the way it clearly should have (assuming it's like Space Invaders). Very strange, and I actually had to email the developer for support. It turns out he's never heard of this problem—you can usually drag the ship around with your finger. I tested the game on my iPad and it does work there, so there's something about my iPhone 6 that the game doesn't like.

It looks like a fun game, if you can get it working. While I don't mind supporting a fellow Xojo developer with my 99 cents, I would imagine that real gamers will find plenty of free games that work better and come with some basic instructions. Still, it's an impressive example of what can be done with Xojo.

End of article.