I was fortunate enough this week to get a little quality time with a brand new game from a brand new company. I’m a sucker when it comes to trying things out from new innovators. Sure, I enjoy a lot of the main staples around like Pop Cap and Zynga, but there is just something about a “small time” company producing big time titles that really captures my attention.
The group over at Pil Pil Games, a diverse Indie Game development team, is hoping to gain some notoriety with their first major release, a casual arcade flying title named, “The Red Dart Fighter.”
This fun little “air shooter” has you take flight in a red bi-plane and uses full control of Apple’s accelerometer. You’ll be tilting your device up, down, and left and right, as you maneuver your plane through a slew of enemy forces. The controls actually move very seamlessly. It takes a little time to catch your bearings and understand how the plane reacts, but once you play with it a bit you’ll be flying like an ace pilot in no time.
The fire button is located on the bottom right hand side of the screen, and holding it down will cause your weapons to auto fire. There are also other weapons that will be available as you progress through the game. These items can be activated via a button on the left of the screen. No matter what though, shooting and activation is always very easy to do, and I applaud the simplistic control scheme.
The premise of the game is pretty entertaining. You play a “farmer” who is awoken one night by the screaming of his daughter. Aliens of an unknown origin have attacked your farm and are threatening to destroy all and any buildings and objects in their path. You take flight in your trusty plane, fixated with a handy machine gun.
The object is to shoot your way through as many invading ships as you can before they lay waste to a specific set of buildings below you. And the invasion doesn’t just stop at the farm, you’ll find yourself in the city, the ocean, and at a slew of other locations as you defend the Earth against this menacing force.
There are available upgrades as your progress through the title, and you’ll be able to collect “green orbs” from downed enemies that you use to purchase new upgrades and abilities. You’ll find things like more powerful weapons, shields, and even things that will boost your flying speed. There is actually a lot of customization here and some little question mark icons in the store that hint at more items becoming available in future updates.
But even with all the gameplay goodies, my favorite aspect of this game has to be the art styling. It’s creative, it’s intricate, and it’s detailed. It plays out much like a comic book, which acts as the “general theme” throughout the title. But you really have to respect the sheer amount of time that went in to crafting all of the “hand-drawn” art here. The musical scores are quite entertaining too, carrying a lot of weight for a title that only costs USD $0.99 on iPhone and iPad.
I’ve been playing this game non-stop since I got it, and it’s actually quite addicting once you get going. This is a fantastic first release from a company that is probably going to go on to do some big things. It just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter how “big” or “in your face” a company is. Sometimes all it takes is a diverse group of individuals, a little free time, and a lot of passion, to create something truly entertaining.
You can pick up The Red Dart Fighter today for only USD $0.99 cents from the Apple App Store. And be sure to check out the release trailer below!