The Drill Plus Review

Not the Same Old Drill

Weird. That’s the word that springs to mind when playing Spotcat Studio’s newest game, The Drill Plus (out now, $0.99), a top-down shooter that swaps the usual spaceship versus extraterrestrial cannon fodder schtick for a scrawny superhero who wields a humongous drill and does battle with, wait for it, levitating unicorns, Frankenstein’s monsters, ghosts and even a bizarre blue-bearded deity!

The game’s kooky nature is established early on with a nonsensical, albeit amusing, comic-strip that proceeds the main event. Despite this wacky start though, Spotcat sensibly keep things simple in terms of controls/gameplay.

As our hero automatically soars through the sky, what you’ve got to do is weave around the screen and pop as many enemies as possible with your drill by tilting your device from side to side. Every so often, you’ll encounter anvils that require you to quickly tap the screen to give your drill an extra boost so that you can smash through them and rival drills to battle. Face-offs with the latter trigger a frantic mini-game.

Both the game’s 5 levels worth of ‘story mode’ and a bonus ‘endless mode’ muster up just enough outlandish arcade action to keep you playing. Still, overall, The Drill Plus is a bit of a mixed bag. Initially, I did dig the game’s intuitive control scheme and OTT delivery, but the gameplay is seriously lacking in depth and diversity. Also, while the cutscenes boast a neat anime-esque style, the in-game graphics – particularly the bland backgrounds and a selection of static “enemies” who seem to have been plucked at random from the results of a Google image search – fail to impress.

Fun in small doses, but once you strip away the delightfully bonkers subtext, The Drill Plus is still just another a vertical shooter at heart and, if I’m honest, a pretty average one at that.

iFanzine Verdict: I’m still not quite sure what the heck it’s all about, but I did quite enjoy tilting ‘n’ drilling my way through this amusing little oddity. While The Drill Plus lacks depth and isn’t likely to be to everyone’s taste, if you are at all intrigued, why not give ad-supported version a whirl? – it’s free!

[xrr rating=3/5]