February 17, 2009

It's Not That I'm Addicted, But I Just Can't Stop Playing iShoot.

Growing up, I wasn't one to play with Army men, GI Joes and shoot toy guns. I didn't play tank and make up elaborate war fantasies that involved bombing and artillery. I don't own a gun and I've never even considered being a member of the NRA. Practically the only regular games that involved violence in my youth were when my brother and I would sit down for a game of Contra on the old 8-Bit NES. But I've found the highly popular and already much-documented iShoot for the iPhone one silly app I can't put away.

The play is simple, a good thing when it comes to iPhone games, as I've mentioned before when covering Crazy Frog and Booty Blocks, for example. You are in combat with 1 to 3 other tanks, and blow each other to smithereens using weapons you have purchased. The goal is to be the last tank standing after you've cleared the screen of your enemies, having measured your shots by angle and force, adjusting for wind speed and terrain, of course.

Up to Four Tanks Can Battle On Picturesque Backgrounds

I remember playing a similar two-player game on old green screen Apple IIs, but iShoot is, despite its simplicity, much more involved. You'll get to learn which ammunition is most desired, when to move your tank to get a better shot, or whether it ever makes sense to toss up a wall of dirt to block others from taking you out.

Play Long Enough and You Can Rack Up Weapons

The game ranges in multiple levels, from Easy to Extreme. Easy is fun if you need to get acquainted, but you will want to try Extreme and see what it is like to fight when the tanks practically never miss and have you in their sights. And if you've mastered the ability to win in five rounds, ten rounds, or fifteen, and want to start flinging Shiva Bombs around as casually as you would Mortars (play the game and see what I'm talking about), you'll want to try the infinite round mode and just keep blasting away.

Not to Mention Domination Of Your Opponents

You know it's an interesting game when Nuke, which can kill you with one massive shot, isn't even nearly the most sought-after weapon. If well placed, my Shiva Bomb can take out three tanks with one blow. So far, 191 rounds into this massive iShoot-a-thon, I've killed 361 tanks, and lead in "Wins" 88 to 32, over the second highest competition. I don't know if I'll stop after 200 rounds. Maybe it will be 250 or 500. But there's a real reason why Ethan Nicholas has racked up more than a half-million dollars from the application, including $37,000 in one day. It's fun!

Don't Just Shoot - Shoot to Kill.

You can get it yourself, if you haven't already, for only 3 bucks, at the iTunes App Store. Also, there is an iShoot Lite, but don't be so cheap - get the real one. Seriously.