Games / iPad / iPhone

iPlay’d – Ziggurat


iPlay’d is a new segment in which I will try to sort through the billions of games in the app store, and try to recommend the cream of the crop. This week I’m starting with a new favorite, Ziggurat by Freshuu Inc.

Ziggurat is a great new survival shooter that I’ve been playing a lot of on my iPad recently. There are aliens coming at you from both sides of the screen, and it’s your job as the last human alive to blast them back to wherever the hell they came from.

Your character, very cleverly designed as androgynous, stands atop a pyramid shaped structure (hence: Ziggurat). Alien creatures that you are told have destroyed all other humans are coming at you in swarms, trying to finish the job. Your goal is to fend them off for as long as you can, taking your friends high scores down along the way.

Every mechanic is done exceptionally well once you understand how everything works. The bottom of the pyramid acts as your shooting guide, sliding your finger across it aims your gun in the direction you want to go. You can hold it down to shoot a charged shot, and releasing it at just the right moment shoots an even more powerful blast. Annnnd…that’s about it. Does it seem simple? Maybe a little bit. Is it addicting as hell? Yeah, it is.

There are multipletypes of enemies that come at you the require different strategies to take down. Giant aliens must be hit multiple times to be killed, some fly at you from the top of the screen, some climb up the pyramid, some have shields, and it goes from there. Hitting one of the baddies right in the eye (a headshot) results in an explosion that can end the lives of nearby creatures. Pulling off charge shots and nailing a guy right in the eye is really fun, you always want to see how many more you can take down. Every time you die, you know in the back of your mind you can kill just a few more guys next time.

The music and sound effects are icing on this already delicious cake. The soundtrack that plays through the entirety of your last stand is a catchy, fast-paced 8-bit tune that could be right at home on your NES. At certain points, the music brilliantly cues when a new enemy typealas appeared, readying you for a new threat. Different enemies make unique sounds, so you can always prepare for the guy who is about to dive bomb you from the sky. Every time you die the screen flashes red, and you are treated to a horrifying sound that could be mistaken like the death cry of a mutilated robot. You don’t know what those aliens did to you after they got you, but you’re definitely sure they aren’t going to get you this time.

For one dollar, you’ll get to experience some fantastic game design, stress, fear, joy, and all of those other emotions people like. Just go get it, and thank me later.

– Zach

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