Ngmoco, creator of the recently released Rolando, have produced a number of amazing games for the iPhone/iPod touch. One of these amazing games is Dropship. This game was not high on my list of must-purchase apps, but has grown to be one of my favorites so far.
What makes Dropship special? Its gameplay sets it apart from the 2D space shooter genre, hanging in a fine balance between shooter and a Chopper rescue game.
Blue is the color of your plasma engines. Defeated enemies drop blue energy dots; picking up these blue dots will refill your engine energy bar. Using your engines will slowly drain that bar. You’ll need your engines to maneuver your ship toward your lost crew and the lost cargo.
The blue ring on the lower left-hand side of the screen controls your engines. Push your finger in the direction you wish to go (relative to the center of the ring). As you go faster, the ring expands to meet your finger’s movement.
Yellow is the color of your laser weapons – killing enemies automatically upgrades your laser’s power and gives you a full weapon energy bar. When you burn through the weapon’s energy bar, your weapons downgrade to the prior attack level and the bar refills. This game mechanic is ingenious, and (once you notice it) makes perfect sense. You’ll need your weapons to defeat the enemies guarding your cargo.
The yellow ring on the lower right-hand side of the screen controls your weapons. Push your finger in the direction you wish to fire (relative to the center of the ring). Just like with the blue ring, the weapons ring expands to meet your finger’s movement.
The graphics are incredible, as you can see from the screenshots. It is hard to tell what is going on if you haven’t played the game, but the colors and shapes are used for very specific reasons. But the sound effects and music push the quality levels in Dropship past all expectations. Every aspect of the game will keep you immersed, and very few things will break that immersion.
One problem I faced during gameplay was mastering the controls. I found my fingers went off the screen due to the placement of the control rings at critical times – honestly, this is a flaw in my own gaming skills. The game is great, and is currently only one dollar (normally going for two dollars).