[Review] Double Review: Blue Defense! and Blue Attack!

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by Dr. Rambo, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Dr. Rambo

    Dr. Rambo Banned

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    Developer John Kooistra has put out two great games, Blue Attack! and Blue Defense! There are some similarities between the two, but also some HUGE differences.

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    Blue Defense!

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    ^iTunes Link^

    This is a game that I stumbled upon when browsing through new releases in the App Store awhile back. It still keeps me occupied for plenty of hours.

    Controls:
    You control this game by tilting your iDevice to change which direction your "planet" (presumably Earth) fires its attacks. It always fires the literal up direction, so by changing the tilt, you change which direction you're shooting. The game has both landscape and portrait levels.

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    Amazingly simple controls.

    Gameplay:
    Your life is displayed as 'population'. You gradually gain people for your planet, and you also receive a big bonus at the end of each level. Throughout the levels, you encounter many different types of enemies, from small circles that take little effort to dispose of, to large, tank-like enemies that that release large groups of smaller enemies.

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    Just protecting the Earth. No biggie.

    The Good and the Bad

    Pros
    This app has a lot going for it. Cheap, good looking, easy to jump into, enough variation to keep it interesting, etc. The controls are easy, and the gameplay is good for a range of skill levels. It gradually increases in difficulty, but allows more experienced players to go into the harder levels right off the bat with the "Quick Start" option.

    Cons
    The game can be hard for someone who is expecting an easier setting. It is also very limited, you have little to none options in the way of expansion. This makes it an app with little left to your imagination.

    Ratings
    Price: At $0.99, this is a cheap app. The app may be wanting in some areas, but it does deserve a price tag above free. 8.5/10

    Graphics: The neon-esque graphics on this app remind me of a nice retro shooter. I love the way the look, very simple, but at the same time, not poorly made. It definitely deserves this 9/10.

    Controls: The controls on this app are great. They are wonderfully simple, earning it a sweet 8.5/10.

    Replay Value: Players can start at any point they wish, so you don't have to keep starting from the easiest point. There is also some great variation, but on the other hand, there is little/no expansion. I give it a 7/10.

    Overall: This great little app gets an 8.5/10.

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    Blue Attack!

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    ^iTunes Link^

    I was led to this app by it's predecessor, Blue Defense! This showed many improvements over it's counterpart, and also keeps some of the best elements.

    Controls:
    This app lost some of the great simplicity from Blue Defense! You have two options: you can use the accelerometers to point the ship in the direction you want, or 'lead it' around with your finger. The first option can make it hard depending on where you are, and whether you can utilize all the ways you can tilt. The second can interfere with your ability to use the onscreen options (such as bombs, changing you formation, etc.) effectively. (Author's Note: Though neither of these control setups are perfect, they are both sufficient for an app like this.)

    Combat:
    Your ship (along with the mini-fighters that tag along) is always shooting in the forward direction. This makes it easier to knock out more enemies faster.
    You also have the option to use bombs, along with other helpful power ups, to get rid of some enemies. One thing that this has over it's sister app is the very good upgrade system, from speed, to strength, to lives.

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    Nice battling system.

    Bosses:
    There are some veeeeery large enemies that you have to defeat. These are very similar to regular enemies, besides their immense size. They are actually, in all honesty, not too hard to defeat, which was a let-down for me.

    The Good and the Bad

    Pros
    This app shows vast improvements over Blue Defense! It has a wonderful upgrade system, its good for many players, and still has those cool graphics.

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    The aforementioned wonderful upgrade system.

    Cons
    The main thing I don't like about this game is the controls. They aren't terrible, I just don't like the way the interfere with some other aspects of the game.

    Ratings
    Price: This app is only $1.99, which is reasonable considering the major improvements made. I give it a 9/10.

    Graphics: This app keeps the wonderful graphics from the original "Blue" game, but perhaps not so well implemented as they were then. Definitely gets this 8.5/10, though.

    Controls: In my opinion, this is the least desirable part of the game, but they fit in well enough to get a 6.5/10.

    Replay Value: Great game to play over and over again. 9/10

    Overall: I personally give this a 9/10 overall, because there are so many improvements.

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    The Final Statement:
    If I were to have to pick one of these, it would definitely be Blue Attack! The upgrade system and extra features allow it to keep you interested, plus it keeps those awesome graphics.

    Attached Files:

  2. studangerous

    studangerous Super Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Nice review - well written and decent layout. I do like the way you have bunched a couple of similar apps together for comparison. However, although what you have written is very good it lacks depth in some areas and sometimes you don't explain your points sufficiently. i.e. I have an idea what the app is like but no great perception that makes me feel confident of making a decision on whether I want to purchase these apps or not.
  3. Dr. Rambo

    Dr. Rambo Banned

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    Thanks for the feedback! I'll consider these points in future reviews.

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