Infinity-Field---review Infinity Field - review

   05/09/2011 at 16:50       Joe Bennett       9 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - iPhone, Friction burns, iPod, My thumbs hurt, Shoot em up

There are not many developers that could take on a homage to Geometry Wars and succeed in not just doing it justice, but also adding new modes that sit perfectly within the existing framework of the game. But that’s exactly what Forzefield Studios have managed to achieve.

Rather than merely being a cheap rip-off of Geometry Wars, as I originally thought it would be, Infinity Field stands on its own as a great addition to the genre. True, its ‘standard’ Infinity Mode may feel and look (but sadly not sound) like a slightly scaled down Geometry Wars, but it’s able to add plenty of variety in gameplay terms via the other modes.

Insane ramps it straight up to 11, without any of the additional handholding stages and with geometric enemy ships raining in from all directions, it's akin to injecting adrenaline into your body through your thumbs, and Unarmed removes your ability to shoot (a geometric jaffa, if you will) and instead requires you to herd up enemies and lead them towards a bomb to blow them up. But (and ignoring the Cruces mode, which was the only mode that felt like a bit of an afterthought) as fun as they are, the Snake and Zombie modes are where it’s at.

Zombie mode allows you to shoot, but instead of disappearing from the screen, your enemies will freeze in place instead, and can only be removed by detonating a bomb (nuclear, of course) that you have to fly into. But just because enemies are frozen doesn’t mean that they’re no longer a threat, as any contact with them will still result in a loss of a lift. And that’s what makes this mode so interesting as some enemies are far better off left alone, whereas others (those that will home in on you from the front) need to be frozen in order to navigate around them. Freeze too many though, and your path will become blocked and you’ll have to keep trying to push them out of your way by firing the freeze gun. And bombs aren’t infinite, so do you risk another bomb being available soon, or do you try and survive a little longer before you trigger the last bomb on-screen?

Snake mode is by far the most inventive though. No longer a ship but a ‘hey, don’t I remember you from the 90’s?’ snake, albeit with a red laser attached to its tail and head. You therefore have to guide your shi…snake around the screen and try to trap the enemies in the laser between your constantly moving head and tail. It’s ingenious, if perhaps a little better suited to a larger screen due to being able to have a better indication as to where your head is in relation to your arse. I mean tail.

As well as these modes there’s also a 36 stage campaign which enables you to upgrade your ship using credits you earn throughout the campaign. The campaign also throws in the other modes from time-to-time to keep things feeling fresh, and therefore encourages practice in the solo modes. And all of these modes feature weapon power ups and extra lives that you can collect throughout the stages.

Infinity Field is also incredibly well designed (but then you’d expect that from the developers of AbstractWar 2.0, essentially the predecessor to Infinity Field). Other than one occasion during the campaign, where the screen was essentially full of enemies and I set off a rather large explosion, I didn’t experience one bit of slowdown. Even in that situation it didn’t affect the gameplay, as I’d just blown everything up and it only lasted for a fraction of a second. The auto-pause is also a welcome bonus, as old fogeys like me need to give their thumbs a rest and being able to just lift them off the screen and the game automatically pause is a welcome treat.

However, that said, therein lies the main flaw with Infinity Field. It’s frantic, it requires constant movement of the ship and therefore your thumbs really get a work out, and I found that the friction I was getting off of the iPod Touch screen was, at times, too much, causing my thumbs to either drag across the screen, or burn like bloody hell.

It’s not really a fault of the game, but more a fault of the platform it’s on, and perhaps others have more lubricated thumbs, but it’s something worth bearing in mind. This isn’t Angry Birds, this will require constant twitching of the thumbs and as games can last upwards of 30-40 minutes (when you become particularly good at it), it can hurt.

Other more minor issues include the sound (a game such as this really deserves decent audio, and this is far from that) and that there are no gems to collect. That’s probably the thing I missed most from its big-screened counterpart; the risk/reward of trying to hoover up some gems while flying perilously close to enemies.

That all said, Infinity Field is a great shooter that everyone with even a passing interest in the genre should be able to spend hours with (our very own Richard Horne should love this) and at 69p it’s hardly even a risk.

Stars
User Comments:

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ilmaestro - on 05/09/2011 at 21:04 wrote:
 
Sounds like a bargain! Will have to remember to pick it up.
 

HairyArse - on 05/09/2011 at 22:20 wrote:
 
I played this for a while on the iPad and loved it - especially the amazing Zombie mode - but ultimately the imprecise controls let it down and spoil any attempts at high-level play.
 

kentmonkey - on 05/09/2011 at 22:23 wrote:
 
Got to be honest, never played the iPad version but this is a different version and I didn't notice any imprecise controls at all. I got into the top 10% and lasted for nearly an hour, maybe more, enough for the battery to run nearly dry. They can't be that imprecise on this version for that to happen.
 

HairyArse - on 05/09/2011 at 22:27 wrote:
 
Well it's not so much that their imprecise. It's more that I want to be as good on this as I am on Geo Wars and touch-screens just don't cut it.

Oh and thanks for re-upping this and having the correct images. :D
 

kentmonkey - on 05/09/2011 at 23:14 wrote:
 
Heh heh, well the original still shows as the correct pixels but I uploaded a new one to be sure.

I honestly didn't have a problem with the controls on this, and I've got some scores higher than you on some of the Geo Wars 2 modes so I'm not too bad at that (I think it's 4-2 to you over me, but I was just happy even getting near some of yours, yet alone beating a couple) and although I haven't played that in nearly two years, and although I wouldn't dream of saying this is as precise...it's more than good enough for the device it's on.

And it's the most responsive game I've played on the iPod, showing some developers up for how badly they implement touch screen controls and how much lag/poor input they allow.
 

peej - on 06/09/2011 at 09:03 wrote:
 
Christ you weren't kidding about this buggering your thumbs up!!
 

HairyArse - on 06/09/2011 at 09:26 wrote:
 
When playing this on iPhone, don't your thumbs obscure your vision somewhat? :P
 

peej - on 06/09/2011 at 09:28 wrote:
 
Just a tad. Well alright, a fuck of a lot.

Bloody smug iPadders!
 

HairyArse - on 06/09/2011 at 11:16 wrote:
 
It's the same on the iPad, though obviously to a much lesser extent.

I wish this were on XBLA.
 


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