Eliminate: GunRange – review (iPhone 4)

ngmoco release the first true iPhone 4 only game… but is it more of a taste of things to come?

Out of nowhere ngmoco released a budget shooting gallery game in time for the iPhone 4 launch today. Surprisingly it doesn’t follow their usual freemium model, instead asking for a whopping $0.99 for the privilege… the swines!!!

No but seriously, for a buck you get a pretty cool shooter that is the first to display the potential of gyro-based gaming on the iPhone 4.

Presented in a first person 3D mode you are put through various gallery style challenges, akin to those you see in FBI training scenes. There are 144 challenges across four 3D environments and 12 weapons available to wield.

Initially when I booted up the game I thought it was broken, or at least the controls were inverted. As I tilted left the gun pointed right… then I realised, I was playing it all wrong. You see this is gyro based, not just accelerometer. Instead of titling the direction you wish to move, you must move your whole body in that direction. It takes a short time to get used to it, but once you do its second nature, and delivers one of the most realistic shooting gallery experiences on a gaming device. So, when a target pops up on the top left of the screen, you point the device (and you body) in that direction and shoot. It’s far more involving than a tap to shoot version, or a tilt version of mouse look. For best results stand up in an open area, as sitting down just doesn’t cut it in the reaction stakes. Sure, much like any motion based game though, like on Wii, your arms may tire from holding the device out stretched, but this is only design to be played in short bursts. You can turn the gyro off, dubbed ‘G-scope’, giving you eliminate style touch controls. But after playing with the gyro it seems a backward step. Having said that I can’t see myself playing through a whole FPS using gyro, so it remains to be seen how the technology will work its way into more epic titles.

Graphically it’s not exactly pushing the iPhone 4 to it’s limit, the environments look good for the most part with high resolution textures, but the geometry itself is lacking detail. The sound on the other hand is excellent, with some great music and more importantly gun sounds. Ooorah!

While GunRange is essentially a tech demo, it does offer some re-playability by adding new weapons which can be unlocked using credits earned. The twelve levels, across four environments, are the same for each weapon though, and while the different guns such as the M4, MP7, AK47 MP5 and P90 offer varying experiences, the challenges themselves get old quickly. Hopefully ngmoco will offer more challenges through updates or DLC… or better still create a brand new and fuller game experience.


You can download the game for $0.99 now Eliminate:GunRange

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