Shooter is an unimaginatively named shmup that starts out a little rough: there's no tutorial, the music cuts out during levels, and nothing is put in context. Stick with it though and Shooter develops into a nice little time waster that will keep your thumbs twitching for hours (for the uninitiated, that is a good thing).
Classically styled twitch shooting
After a couple of rather mundane starting stages things start to get interesting as you upgrade your ship and advance to face the enemy’s increasingly large boss ships.
Each stage introduces new foes with different attack types to ensure that the gameplay keeps evolving despite its relative simplicity. So, by the time you reach the huge boss ship at the end of the third level, things have developed into a real bullet-hell shooter that has you weaving through a range of attack patterns.
One finger destruction
The controls are simple: drag your finger or thumb left and right across the screen to guide your craft though the vertically scrolling world. Your ship takes care of the shooting for you, with its guns never stopping its endless flow of firepower. The 1:1 controls are very responsive but, as with all such shooters, your digit on the screen can block your line of sight from the more sneaky villains who attack from behind - which is frustrating at best.
As well as just shooting enemies on your way through levels, you must also collect various items that your defeated foes drop. Some of these provide short lived power-ups (such as shields and weapon upgrades) to help you through the current area, while others work as a currency to purchase permanent upgrades. If you ever get stuck on a later challenge, these persistent buffs allow you to satisfyingly grind your way through earlier stage until you are powerful enough to proceed.
Graphically, Shooter is quite simple, with static spites that move through the animated world. While this may not prove visually interesting for anyone watching, for those playing it allows easy identification of everything on screen against the detailed (but not interactive) parallax backgrounds.
There are a few oddities to the formula though. First up is the music. A single track accompanies the action until it inexplicably finishes before the end of each overly long level. It's odd, if only because it means that each boss-battle begins in near silence.
The other peculiarity is the upgrade that produces little micro-fighters to flank your ship. In similar shooters, these smaller craft would act as invincible support, here though they actually increase the surface area of your ship making you easier to hit. This makes this "power-up" something of a double-edged sword, an unusual but interesting dynamic.
Blasting good fun
Despite its slow start, Shooter is enjoyable and addictive and is great for all types of gamer.