August 26th, 2012 | By Charles Ferrendelli
Last week I was excited to announce the release date of iTapPirate and even more anxious to get my hands on it. So how does the game stack up? Like many pirates, it hobbles on one leg.
iTapPirate offers two modes of play: Campaign and Survival. Survival is based off of campaign in that all the levels are the same, but instead of the on-rails experience in campaign, the player sits at one screen taking on waves off endless enemies.
Without any sort of story as to why you’re running and committing a mass pirate genocide, the campaign only separates itself from survival with the fact that it’s on-rails. Without leaderboards a part of campaign, some people may end up skipping right over it, especially since you don’t need to play it to unlock the survival levels.
Visually the game looks great. The levels vary greatly from one another, but within them all look the same as your character runs around in campaign mode. While he goes from one area to the next, there’s not much diversity. For example, don’t expect to work your way around all aspects of the ship. It would’ve been cool to fight from the cabin all the way up to the deck and end with a triumphant leap from the mass all the way back down, but instead you kind of just run around the deck until your character eventually jumps off.
Where I am impressed with the campaign mode is when your character runs in slow motion and you’re taking out enemies one by one. It’s at those exact moments where the game offers cool visual entertainment with your input. I loved sliding under bridges and shooting pirates in a slow-motion action sequence trying to rack up my combo.
The controls of the game are straight forward. Everything is controlled by tapping which acts as the player’s gun. Shooting at enemies and explosives as well as tapping on items and reloading is pretty much all you need to know to jump into iTapPirate. Reloading is a simple tap away and is located at the bottom left hand side of the screen. I simply used my left hand and kept it hovered over the reload button while my right hand did all the killing. At times, continuously tapping ended up feeling tedious. Incorporating some sort swipes or gestures might have livened up the gameplay a bit. Even if it was as simple as swiping from bottom to top to reload, or swiping across an enemy as you run by to slice them with a sword.
The audio in the game is okay. You have you’re fair share of gun shots, explosives, and music tracks, but what I found really odd was the abrupt stop in music in game until the song loops again. It’s not a big deal, but always caught my attention as I was taking down pirates to an epic theme that suddenly disappeared and repeated again.
iTapPirate offers plenty of longevity in leaderboards and items in the store. There a total of 34 items you can purchase with 24 of them being upgradable up to five levels. Most enhance your character while some of the non-upgradable are for aesthetics, such as different cross hairs. Some of the upgradable items include improving weapons by their clip, fire rate, and damage, or increasing the amount of destructibles, power ups, and movement speed. Even the power ups that appear in game can be upgraded. While it adds longevity in the time it will take to attain everything, the items don’t offer much variety. From the very first level of the game everything is readily accessible.
On your first adventure you’ll be excited when you unlock weapons such as a shotgun and cannon to go along with your pistol. On the down side you’ll ultimately be disappointed once you go to the shop and find out that all the weapons they have to offer you tried in the first ten minutes of play.
Overall iTapPirate is a fun game to play in small bursts. If you like on-rails shooters then you’ll be happy to know that there’s one available on the iPad for you. Where the longevity of the game will be though is in its survival mode where you’ll try to top the leaderboards and unlock more items from the shop to make your session longer.
Don’t forget to follow developer Inter-Illusions onFacebook, Twitter, and their official website where you’ll see some of their future projects as well as be reminded when iTapPirate hits the App Store August 31st!