If you’re looking for a quick spot of classic arcade shooting on the iPhone, HDX (that’s Home Defender X) by L1Games has enough baddie blasting action to tickle your pickle five ways to Sunday. It’s not yet a complete package (the lack of online leader boards is particularly bothersome) but it’s still a tasty enough offering to satiate your gaming appetite.
Concept and Gameplay
Our iPhone app review found that the HDX iPhone app most resembles the classic arcade blasters you’d find in the local pizza joint, the kind with a cheap plastic pistol and excellent graphics. However, all of the fun of the old quarter machines has been ported to the iPhone’s Retina display, bringing along killer graphical processing, heaps of shooting excitement, and local high scores.
Within HDX, players control the location and aim of a single cannon. This turret must face off against wave after wave of oncoming enemies, sending volley after volley at the approaching hordes until a final boss fight finishes off the level. There’s currently seven different levels offered, sporting sceneries as vast as the ocean, and as bleak as space.
As expected, players are handed points for destroying enemies, and these points are totaled up at the end of the level, producing a high score. These scores are saved to the app’s local leader boards, but sadly, there’s no online functionality, a la Game Center. This is a real shame, especially as HDX’ arcade style makes it perfect for the service.
There are also plenty of power-ups that can be blasted in-game, but having an intertextual upgrade shop would be wonderful. Shooting enemies for cash that could be redeemed for permanent upgrades would create an even more satisfying drive within the app.
Design and Graphics
It’s worth noting that HDX looks absolutely fantastic on the iPhone’s Retina display. The graphics are textbook arcade faire, which creates a brilliant tone for the gameplay. Likewise, the enemies are fluid, big, and intimidating: Just as they should be. The turret’s controls were fluid, but they do take a bit of getting used to. The developers suggest you use the flat part of your thumb, rather than the tip to control the gameplay—a tip we fully endorse for maximum blasting potential.
HDX is a bit pricy at $1.99 in the App Store, especially without online play. However, for the price of entry, users can enjoy one of the most fun and most beautiful arcade titles to ever hit the App Store. HDX will easily knock out a few minutes (or hours) during a morning commute, making it ideal for the mobile arcade fan with a hankering. You may enjoy a video preview of the game here.
HDX requires iOS 4.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app reviews rating: