Aegis is a boat arcade shooter game where it places you in the hands of a warship. The game presents you with several levels and to complete each level and proceed to the next, you just have to destroy all enemies present. Before the end of every main mission (each mission divided into several smaller levels for example 1-1, 1-2 so on), you usually meet a boss or a situation which is significantly more difficult to complete than the rest of the mission. Win and you get to proceed on (checkpoint as well). Aegis is now out for the iPhone and iPod Touch at the price of $0.99
Aegis isn’t a very special game in terms of gameplay concept or objectives. The mechanics and concept have been used several times in old school boat shooting games. You have two parts to the controls. One part is the movement and the other the aim of your warship’s gun. Movement is done in an analogue stick style (bottom left by default has the area for controlling the warship) while the aiming is the simple shifting of the aiming reticle, you cannot aim directly at the enemies for the bullet will simply sink before even reaching. The bullet flies in a parabolic manner going up then down therefore you have to usually aim a little higher and adjust the range of the shot accordingly.
The game presents you with limited types of enemies and bosses. There are basic land turrets, enemy warships (big and small) and aircraft carriers. There are frequent bosses like huge airplanes and tanks. All of these are nothing new or something that gets you off your seat upon meeting them. In the later stages of the game, you will meet situations where enemies are positioned on mountain terrain where they are in a more advantageous situation for they have the height as well as the cover provided by the way the mountain is shaped. This results in you having to do high angle shots which can get frustrating at times. High angled shots are hard to connect with you enemy for you are basically guessing your way through while dodging the endless amount of bullets coming at you.
Putting that aside, you have 4 different difficulty levels. All of which brings you through the same levels just with enemies that are harder to kill. There doesn’t seem to be many rewards in playing through the harder difficulties, only perhaps for the achievements present within the game. Another reason why you want to play the harder difficulty levels is due to the fact that you need the upgrade points to upgrade your ship.
There is a levelling upgrade system implemented within the game. After each mission arc, you get points which are used to upgrade your ship. These upgrades are significant within the game for they help ease the difficulty by quite a lot. There are a few aspects of the ship that you can improve mainly the speed, durability, reload time, accuracy and the amount of bullets shot within one reload. As you upgrade each aspect, you will see the difference in how much damage your ship can take and the speed increase as well. This system is something that makes the game a little better, pushing players to move on to keep trying to get the best out of their ships.
The graphics is simplistically drawn and coloured, old school retro styled perhaps. For example your main warship and the enemies mostly only have 2 colours used, one lighter and the other of a darker gradient. The water has no texture or any shadows everything is either a one colour or two coloured scheme. Maybe more effort within the graphics department makes the game a little more interesting (of course retro theme could have its good points. Make it a little more colourful or detailed would be good). For example some kind of damage indicator for example the ship on fire once it receives a certain amount of damage? Or even perhaps some indicator that your ship has indeed become more powerful after the upgrades?
The major problem of the game is the receptiveness. The game is just like that, the first level and the last are mainly the same. Enemies change but all in all the experience and feeling doesn’t. You played the first, you played the last. Not much motivation present besides the fact that the deeper you go into the game the more powerful your boat is. Highscore board and achievements (openfeint supported) are a nice touch but insufficient. There needs to be some kind of “wow” factor to keep the player going. Aegis however, doesn’t have that and for the price of $0.99, you might want to consider first. There is a lite version present which will probably satisfy your need since the full version isn’t that much different.