If you've been reading my ramblings for any length of time, you'll know that I love a good arcade shooter. I cut my gaming teeth on Galaxian, and since then have always gravitated towards shooty games.
I probably wouldn't have heard of PicoPicoFighters if it hadn't been for Stuart Campbell's short-lived but superb Free App Hero. Then again, a trawl through a few of my friends' Game Center records would have seen me stumble upon it, but let's pretend we don't have such conveniences...
Peeow! Peeow! Die, blue alien things!
PicoPicoFighters looks almost exactly like an arcade game circa 1984. If that's not enough to get you interested, I don't know what is. It's about as simple as vertically-scrolling shoot 'em ups get. There's no storyline whatsoever, which is great... who wants some dopey backstory getting in the way of proceedings?
There are four stages in PicoPicoFighters - that's yer lot. You know what, though? It's plenty. It'll be some time before you've seen all four. In fact, it'll probably be some time before you've scored 10,000 points. Getting through them in one go will take some doing... thoughtfully, the developers have made them selectable (unlockable).
You're not the boss of me.
Controls-wise, this is not one of those games that's saddled with a fixed on-screen joystick and fire button. Instead, you draw your way around the screen. You have free reign to move wherever you wish, by dragging your finger wherever you need to go.
That's probably the best way to go here, but unfortunately, it's the game's one slight failing. Your ship is small, and it's quite easy for it to get lost underneath your finger, meaning that negotiating the hail of bullets and enemy craft can, at times, be more luck than judgement.
Alright, things could be about to get a bit hairy...
Still, it's a small flaw and to be honest, it's not something that has caused me too many problems in playing the game. It's a real rush when you make it through a particularly difficult section, even if there's not much time for respite. Levels are short, but bastard hard, which makes it great for killing off a few spare minutes. I love a good shoot 'em up, and PicoPicoFighters is one.
Oh... PicoPicoFighters is free!