Much like the engine of a machine that’s been left idle to rust and fall into disrepair, Greenbean Games’ iOS debut, LastStandStan (out now, $0.99), requires a little gentle coaxing and patience on the player’s part before it eventually splutters to life. But, once you get past the initial few slow-paced levels, this cutesified sci-fi shoot ’em up notches the action up a gear, delivering an enjoyable blend of intergalactic firefights and on-the-fly strategizing.
A charming and humorous bit of storytelling proceeds the game’s ‘campaign mode.’ A race of extraterrestrial ne’er-do-wells known as the Sneevils (or the Evil Sneevils to their enemies) have declared war on the peace-loving Po’Trubians and quickly ripped through a shiny fleet of STANs – an acronym for ‘STatic Alien Neutraliser’, in case you were wondering – that protect their planet from invasion. All would be lost were it not for one rickety, retired STAN who soars out of the scrapyard and into the stratosphere to make a heroic last stand against the marauders!
Playing as this brave little droid, your mission is to gun down each and every enemy craft as they mercilessly advance from multiple angles. STAN perpetually hovers in a fixed position at the center of screen, so the idea is to quickly swivel around, blasting Sneevils to smithereens by tapping them.
Now, as I say, to begin with LastStandStan isn’t all that action-packed or awe-inspiring, but with each passing level, upgrade you make to your arsenal of futuristic weaponry and new enemy type the game throws at you, it gets more fast-paced and fun. Not to mention challenging, as tactical use of your limited supply of ammo soon becomes necessary to survive against the ever-increasing alien hordes and frequent boss enemies. Rather brilliantly, any gear you unlock in the main game can also be used to give you an added edge in the unforgiving ‘survival mode.’
LastStandStan’s simplistic shoot ’em up mechanic, sci-fi lite plot, and vibrant, Pixar-like presentation (STAN has more than a whiff of everybody’s favorite downtrodden droid, WALL-E, about him, while the adorable Po’Trubians recall Toy Story’s rubber aliens) may be more geared toward younger iOS gamers, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself hooked on this no matter what age you are!
iFanzine Verdict: Like the game’s rusty, battered protagonist, certain aspects of LastStandSam could benefit from further polishing and TLC. That being said, this remains an addictive little actioner, its longevity bolstered by a challenging survival mode.