Fans of retro shooters might recall something called Super Crossfire, released on the App Store in 2011. Radiangames (Luke Schneider) has recaptured the rights to it, and given the game a sexy makeover.
Two games immediately sprang to mind when firing up Super Crossfighter. Firstly, Space Invaders, as we’re dealing with waves of enemies at the top of the screen, and ultimately trying to destroy them all in order to progress to the next level.
The other is Geometry Wars, easily one of the best arcade titles available for the Xbox. The similarities here, in Super Crossfighter, include the flashy visuals, with an abundance of enemies and lasers and things constantly shooting and exploding. Seriously, what’s not to like?
In gameplay terms, we’re dealing with 150+ waves spread across five chapters. Every few waves you’re given the opportunity to upgrade your ship (armour, speed, number of lives, shot power, firing rate, etc), and your lives replenish.
If/when you lose all your lives, you simply go back to what’s effectively the last checkpoint, though nerds (hi) will wince as their score drops back to zero. Preferably, you want to blast through the whole thing in one go, racking up a ludicrous score in the process.
Oh, and I should mention the gameplay element that makes Super Crossfighter unique: with the tap of a button, you can launch yourself through enemies and projectiles, and appear at the opposite side (top or bottom) of the screen. Lovely.
And that’s Super Crossfighter in a nutshell. It’s really rather good. Let’s dissect it further.
The controls. To be honest, the default controls sent me into a bit of a panic, as I really wanted to like Super Crossfighter, but found it almost unplayable at first.
See, by default, Super Crossfighter asks you to use a slightly silly slider thing in the bottom left, but for that to be effective, you really have to keep your finger on it at all times, and be aware – somehow – of the neutral point where you sit perfectly still. Faux analogue on a touch display? Hmm, nah.
Fortunately, you can easily change the controls to use plain old virtual left/right arrows in the bottom left, and – personally – I managed to blast through the game quite happily.
Well, I say “quite happily”. Super Crossfighter is suitably difficult, perhaps too difficult for some, though fans of the genre will inevitably get a kick out of dying repeatedly, and the levels are really well designed (can’t stress that enough), so it’s technically your fault if you die; there’s a knack to dealing with each individual wave.
Other things to like about Super Crossfighter: Survival Mode, Dark Mode (“the same but harder”), the soundtrack, and your score and wave number constantly being displayed behind the action – something that wasn’t present in Super Crossfire.
Question: why are you still reading this when you should be playing Super Crossfighter?
- Looks great
- Plenty of gaming meat for your money
- Stellar design - tough but fair
- Maybe too tough for some
- Don’t bother if you bought Super Crossfire
- Seriously, it’s pretty hard (that’s what she said)
Summary: Super Crossfighter recalls two classic games, namely Space Invaders and Geometry Wars, but stands out on its own with the ability to leap across the screen. Looks great, sounds great, things constantly exploding… Brilliant.
Price: £1.49 @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.