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Dark Incursion review (iOS / Universal)

October 27, 2011

“Purple haze all around
Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down”

10 word description: Side-scrolling action/adventure/exploration. Pixel art. Upgradeable weapons & abilities.

The game starts on a train and plays very similarly to Green Beret for a few screens at least

10 word review: Looks the part; potentially brilliant but not quite there yet.

Searchlights track ominously back and forth against purple skies while everyone you meet tries to shoot you in the face

You will like this if you enjoy: Side-scrolling action games. I hesitate to mention Castlevania because, although Dark Incursion has pretensions (and the potential) to be that kind of game, it has a few issues that currently cause it to fall a bit short of the target.

Anya is searching... Loot generally consists of upgrades for your weapons and abilities

The good news: Pixel art is attractive and suits the game well. Characters, objects and backgrounds are all nicely depicted. Since version 1.1 the controls have been improved. The fighting, of which there is plenty, is generally enjoyable. Upgrading from looted items isn’t original but it adds a bit of extra depth and interest to the game. Music and sound effects are good and have separate volume controls. Levels seem varied enough so far (for a scrolling action game, anyway).

This is a save point. Luckily for me, saving the game also restores Anya to full health

The bad news: Although “fixed” according to the app store description, the control method has really just been improved with no alternate control options added. The 3-directional controller feels too large and uncomfortable on the iPad. There’s still plenty of room for more improvement on the controls. The inability to flip screen orientation seems prehistoric as far as iOS games are concerned. To make matters worse, the default orientation is the opposite of what I, and most gamers, would consider to be the normal orientation for gaming. It’s only possible to save in fixed locations which are too far apart, particularly for a mobile game, and inflict a hefty amount of repetition. Some of the enemies, mostly the flying ones, are positioned in such a way that you can’t avoid taking hits as you attempt to manoeuvre to a place where you can attack them.

This small chopper is trying to make up for its lack of size by hovering just out of reach

Arcadelife verdict: This game has a huge amount of potential; it’s the kind of game that you want to enjoy and almost feel yourself willing the game to be just that bit better than it is because you can see how great it could be. It’s encouraging that an update to improve the controls came out quite quickly. All I hope now is that Big Blue Bubble keep listening to what the players are saying and improve a few other aspects of the game. For a change, we don’t want more, we just want what we already have to be a bit better.

No doubt because some unfeasibly large breasted psychopath is running around shooting everything

Arcadelife rating: 70/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1
iTunes link

Dark Incursion on Facebook website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0)
iPad (OS 5.0)
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