by Matt Dunn
“Fox! Swipe to do a barrel roll!” This is not something you will hear in this game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you did! Rebel Onslaught brings the fun of classic “rail shooters” like Starfox64 to the iPhone!
Lets get this out of the way now. If you were a fan of Starfox, you will love Rebel Onslaught. Lets get this out of the way too: if you have no idea what Starfox is, you will still probably like Rebel Onslaught. With great tilt controls (and workable option for touch), smooth graphics, excellent sound, and some good level variety, Rebel Onslaught is a lot of fun to play. It’s as close to a classic Nintendo64 rail shooter as you’re going to get, and it works well.
The missions in the game aren’t too varied, but the good variety in level environments help make up for this. Each mission features a boss at the end, but as long as you’ve saved up a good amount of missiles during the level, they are usually easy to dispatch. Other missions require you to destroy a certain number of specific objects in the level. This isn’t difficult, but adds a slight challenge on later levels. There’s a descent number of different enemies as you progress, and some later baddies are pretty tough.
Rebel Onslaught provides a solid console game experience on your iPhone, and will certainly impress friends who see it. A great feature is that you are always firing your main lasers, without having to hold down a button. This allows you to focus on dodging and aiming, You can turn off auto-fire, but… why? Aiming is not difficult at all, and for the the first time in my life, I actually prefer the tilt controls to the touch option! Amazing.
The fact that this game plays like a console title is both it’s best strength and greatest weakness. Rebel Onslaught is not the kind of game you can play brief intervals while on the go. This would be fine, but the game doesn’t offer a system to pause/resume gameplay during interruptions, and thus you are forced to play through an entire level in one sitting in order to continue from the next level later. The levels aren’t exactly small. However, if you are looking for an excellent game to sit and dedicate some time to, Rebel Onslaught will not dissapoint!
Presentation & Graphics
Solid graphics, if not slightly outdated looking… but that could have been intentional. Very solid framerate though, and some nice smoke/particle effects. Draw distance is pretty short. Great HUD.
Very good. The classic female “enemy approaching” voice was a nice touch.
Great use of both touch and tilt controls. Either can be used at any time, and both work well! Some levels are awesome, others are fairly bland. Difficulty isn’t too tough on lower levels, but definitely poses a challenge higher up. No ability to stop and resume ganeplay!? The game crashed on me over half-way through, and I lost all my progress! UPDATE: Both these issues were resolved by update that was posted minutes after I posted this review. You can now stop and resume, and crashing bug is fixed!
There are about 10 levels, and each one is fairly long, with a good variety in environments. Missions switch from standard “beat the boss at the end” to “destroy the things, then beat the boss at the end.” No online support. Would be nice if it were more storyline-driven.
Rebel Onslaught is a great rail shooter, and the best I’ve seen on the App Store. As of this review, it’s currently on sale, so be sure to give it a look!