One of the most undervalued genres on the iPhone is the dual joystick shooter. Twin stick shooters are a genre that has been around for as long as video game consoles have had two joysticks, but they were really popularized by the release of Geometry Wars on the Xbox 360. Since then, lots of developers have tried to get a piece of the dual joystick pie on every platform.
Since the iPhone lacks buttons, and instead uses multitouch, dual joystick shooters make a lot of sense on the device. You do not need to tap a certain location on the screen like a more traditional button-based game, so it works very well. Did you know there are some great twin stick shooters on the iPhone that will not cost you a penny? It is true; I found three that really kept my attention. They look great, play great and are downright awesome.
If you are looking for something new to play on your iPhone, and you are too cheap to run out and buy the latest Angry Birds game, you need to check out these three free dual joystick shooters.
Mafia Rush is an awesome twin stick shooter. Chillingo, one of the more prolific developers on iOS, makes Mafia Rush. The thing that sets Mafia Rush apart from so many other shooters on the iPhone is the progression. Obviously, you are still moving your mobster with one stick, and shooting with the other, but you are doing this with more purpose and progression than in most games in the genre.
You earn cards as you play, and these allow you to unlock new locations. Each place has four types of missions. You can choose from executing a robbery, defending, attacking and surviving. For me, this gives the game more of a purpose. Instead of fighting endless waves of enemies for no reason, you are actually moving towards something.
SAS is another example of a dual joystick shooter done right on the iPhone. It is very similar to Call of Duty’s take on Zombies, in that you are in a house, defending it from zombie attackers. You have to repair barricades to keep the zombies out. The obvious difference is that this is a top down shooter, whereas COD is first person.
The game features online multiplayers, where you and other people can become trapped in the house and fend off zombies together. It also has a deep unlock system. You can purchase all kinds of guns, grenades and other zombie slaying toys.
If you like shooting zombies and you like twin stick shooters, SAS Zombie Assault 3 is a great choice.
Super Cyclone follows the more traditional use of the twin stick shooter. You pilot a space ship and shoot obscene amounts of enemies using various lasers, rockets and special powerups. As you play through a level, you are rated on your performance, from one to three stars. You earn money to buy more awesome powerups for your ship, so you can blast space bad guys more efficiently. The game provides you with a nice tutorial to get you up and running.
So why did I include this game if it does not bring anything particularly new to the table? For one, it looks gorgeous, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love it when a free iPhone game has awesome graphics? Two, it is exceptionally fun. Yes, the formula has been done before, but they apply some new tweaks to the mechanics that keep it fresh enough to still be enjoyable.
While it does not rewrite the book on dual joystick shooters, it is beautiful and fun, and what more can you really ask from a free game?
So there you have it, three awesome free dual joystick shooters. Pull your iPhone out of your pocket and download these games now. You will be happy you did. These games all bring something a little different to the table, and they are all fun in their own way.
What are your favorite dual joystick shooters on the iPhone? What did you think of the ones I recommended? Do you love or hate twin stick shooters? Let us know in the comments!