Spacey sci-fi games are usually fun to play because they’re full of eerie scenery and surprises. Downd is a relatively new tilt-to-play game for iPhone and iPad by Sean Donato. Featuring enemies, obstacles, and more, this is a game that has tons of potential.
Downd puts players in control of a space ship that is stranded on a foreign planet inhabited by monsters and obstacles. You must navigate your way around the planet in order to hopefully find your way off.
Controls are fairly easy to figure out, as the game requires you to tilt your device forward and backward to move the space ship, and left and right to turn. It takes a little time to get used to the sensitivity of the controls, but Downd does feature a recalibration option in the pause menu if you’re experiencing trouble.
Your ship is well equipped for fighting monsters that you encounter. Tap the screen to fire your gun and tap with two fingers to place a bomb. Bombs are acquired via power ups and are used to destroy obstacles in your path.
Enemies are pretty difficult to take down because it takes a few hits to destroy them, but they do fight back and drain your health pretty quickly if you let them.
One thing that really impressed me about Downd is the graphics. The game is built with the popular Unity game engine, so the environment is very sharp, crisp, and responsive. The background music gets a little irritating after awhile, though, because it’s the standard high pitched alien music.
Downd features a retro aspect by requiring players to manually save their progress, which is something that I haven’t seen very often in iOS games. However, I did notice that the game always placed my ship back at the starting area no matter where I saved. The only data preserved was the number of lives and bombs I had.
All in all, I think Downd is off to a great start. There are definitely improvements that can be made, such as a more diverse soundtrack (or volume controls), different environments, and a more functional save game system.
As of right now, though, the game is definitely playable and does offer quite a bit in the way of a different world to explore, as well as the challenge of trying to get as far as you can.
Downd requires iOS 4.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
A small administrative fee was paid by the developer for publication of this review, which did not influence the reviewer’s opinion