It might be almost two years old, but Caster remains one of my favourite iPhone games to date. Sure, it’s not perfect, but there are genuine “holy crap!” moments where it’s hard to believe you’re not playing a £20 game on a PSP.
In Caster, you play the role of a rookie, erm, caster named Ethan, tasked with clearing the land of evil monster type things. It’s essentially a third-person shooter, and it’s really bloody good.
You start off with just one weapon, but there are another five to collect throughout the levels, all with vastly different effects. There’s the chargeable green blaster that tears up the landscape, the yellow shield gun, and the black homing weapon.
The aim is usually to clear the area of all monsters, though sometimes you simply have to collect a bunch of energy orbs. Just to mix things up, you occasionally heal trees by blasting them; makes perfect sense, no?
With those aforementioned energy orbs, you get points which ultimately convert to cash, allowing you to upgrade your weapons, shield, boost and jumping ability.
The action is fast and furious. You’ll spend the majority of your time bombing it across the land, leaping through the air with your stupidly satisfying double jump, and blasting colossal monsters that fill the entire screen.
Despite the frantic pacing the game never seems to struggle. You can set the draw distance in the Options menu, but even at the highest setting it’s an incredibly smooth ride.
The controls are about as good as can be expected on the iPhone. There’s an invisible d-pad on the left, and you blast by tapping on the right. There’s also a nice analogue camera system, allowing you to pan around Ethan as required.
One of my only gripes is that the controls occasionally falter when you’re surrounded by enemies. Swinging the camera round while evading enemy fire while shooting back is just too much sometimes.
- A range of different weapons
- Runs unbelievably well
- Tons of levels
- Controls occasionally falter
- Hugely challenging (or is that a good thing?)
- Costs £1.79
Summary: Like I mentioned before, there are times when you’ll have to remind yourself that you’re playing on an iPhone. I would’ve been happy if I’ve paid £20 for this on the PSP. Caster is almost two years old, but remains one of the most impressive iPhone gaming experiences you’ll find on the App Store.
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: £1.79 @ App Store