The First Person shooter genre seems to be the final frontier for the iPhone, with no game yet getting it right. It seems to come down to one thing… controls! So, does Vector Box’s attempt fit the bill?
The game takes place in a haunted prison, where previous inmates have risen fromt eh dead to seek revenge. Unfortunately for you you are the guard on duty at the time, but luckily you are armed to the teeth.
Survival is the order of the day, and you must travel the halls collecting new weapons all teh while dispatching of hordes of skeletons wielding swords, crossbows and the odd magic spell for good measure.
The game has a great creepy atmosphere, with both good use of lighting, haunting music and spooky sound effects. The texture work is high quality and the enemy models are good too, if a little jerky on the animated side.
The tilt controls work well and act as the camera-look, with you tilting back to look up, forward to look down and left to tight to look, well…. left to right!
While the environments and skeletons look good, you’ll be looking at pretty much the same thing throughout the game. Some variety in both would have been nice.
The tilt controls are fine, but for some reason the same can’t be said for the touch input, which controls your forward, backward and strafe movement as well as firing a weapon. The game can be a bit late in recognising your taps and/or misses them completely. This could be attributed to the rather choppy frame-rate, especially when in combat situations. When two or more skeletons are attacking, you’ll struggle to attack or flee the scene which can rather frustratingly result in death.
Apart from killing there isn’t much to do, it’s all about getting points for taking out as many skeletons as possible before you are ultimately killed.
The bottom line
Overall the game feels like more of a tech demo than a full game. If some of the above bugs are ironed out, we could see this FPS engine put to better use with a little more time and effort put in. So far we are seeing many games of this ilk which have some good ideas but, overall, don’t cut it as a full product. Dead man’s dungeon is available now for $0.99
Presentation and Graphics
Nice texture work and models, but lack of variety and a choppy framerate hurt the overall experience
Great music and sound adds to the spooky atmosphere
The touch controls, whether poorly executed or affected by the framerate, make the game almost unplayable at times.
Wandering the halls can be fun, and reminds me of Wolfenstein a little, but beyond killing there isn’t much else to do.