Shoot To Kill Review

Give ’em Hell!!!

Shoot to Kill: Addictive as Hell (out now, $0.99), a hot new collaboration by Vivid Games and Tower Studios, is an arcade-y actioner set in the fiery depths of Hades. The game has been unleashed on the App Store in various shapes and sizes – a coin-up style freemium version, a HD freemium version etc, etc – but, if you ask me, Addictive as Hell is the best and most fully featured experience of the lot, boasting, as it does, all 30 levels of shoot ’em up thrills, Game Center achievements, and 6 different modes from the off.

As the name of the game implies, Shoot to Kill: Addictive as Hell sees you blasting all manner of hell spawn to death and, yeah, it gets pretty darn difficult to put down as you strive to murder your way through increasingly bizarre levels, unlock each and every outlandish weapon, and rack up a sick high-score.

Playing as a musclebound grunt who finds himself stranded somewhere between life and death, and locked in battle with an army of demons for the prize of his eternal soul, the game offers a disappointingly wafer-thin excuse for the fast and furious ultra violence that ensues.

Skelatal scene-setting story aside, once the game’s rousing heavy metal score kicks in, and its logo explodes onto the screen dripping gore, it’s hard not to get caught up by the schlocky appeal of it all. If you hadn’t already guessed as much, Shoot to Kill harks back to the good ‘ol days of mindlessly blasting baddies in a darkened corner of an arcade until your spare change ran out, while the OTT weapons and hellish creatures have more than a hint of Doom about them.

Tower Studios have most certainly nailed the presentation then, but how does it play?. Well, Shoot to Kill depicts Hell much like an enormous elevator, and you must stop off on each floor to slaughter waves of enemies. At the outset of each level you’re plonked within a protective pentagram, armed with your trusty gun and a secondary special weapon. The top-down perspective works well in the scheme of things, allowing for a panoramic view of environments.

Each stage plays out more or less identically: a variety of hideous creatures attack from all angles, and you take potshots at them from a fixed point at the center of the screen. You can’t move around, but given the game’s frantic pace, this is probably for the best.

The delightfully intuitive control scheme – basically all you’ve got to do is tap enemies in order to reduce ’em to a bloodstain on the floor – makes for some seriously fluid and slick battles. Shoot to Kill looks fantastic in motion, it provides a meaty challenge as each each new level is progressively more difficult and packed with flesh-eating freaks than the last, while switching between weapons in order to take down bigger enemies adds a welcome element of strategy to the proceedings.

That said, the game does get fairly repetitive, and in later levels skill goes out the window as the speed of enemy attacks is ramped up to a ridiculous level. Also, while the default control scheme does work well, perhaps a few more options wouldn’t go amiss (how about a d-pad and action button combo so that your fingers don’t constantly obscure the action on-screen?). All things considered though, the good outweighs the bad, and Shoot to Kill: Addictive as Hell offers a hefty dose of adrenalized arcade style action, fleshed out with a plethora of Game Center extras and bonus modes.

iFanzine Verdict: A heavenly blend of fast-paced retro arcade action, polished visuals, and intuitive touchscreen controls, Shoot to Kill is one hell of game! Granted, the rapid-fire pace and unforgiving nature of later levels may frustrate some players, but its hard not to be impressed by Tower Studios commitment to delivering some good ‘ol unadulterated ultra violence and an authentic coin-op feel. Fair warning though, this one gets fiendishly addictive!

[xrr rating=4/5]