Solar Warfare is an admirable 3D shooter. Developed by one guy and now available on iOS, Android, and compatible Nooks, you can pick this game up for a whopping ninety-nine cents. At that value, it’s pretty much a no-brainer, but is it worth your time?
Where Solar Warfare Succeeds: Solid tech. Solar Warfare is silky smooth on both my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7. It’s a technical marvel with tons of reflective surfaces and decent-poly models. It looks pretty, or rather, it can look pretty. The controls are also incredibly responsive, although I found tilting control of my ship away from where I can actually see it counter-intuitive, which applies to any game with tilt controls. There’s eight levels in various biomes, you can upgrade your weaponry as you advance, and there are scoreboards available to entice competition. It feels like a quality release, but playing it is a little different.
Where Solar Warfare Flubs: It feels like a tech demo. Oh sure, it looks pretty, has responsive controls, and it runs silky smooth (which, yes, is just looking pretty), everything else feels like a college project. The art is amateur with no distinct direction to speak of – many of the environments feel like warmed-over Bryce files – the models are primitive, some ships don’t even explode when you blow them up, they just pop away, and it feels like a demo game that comes with a game engine just to give you a sample what some impressive tech can do. There’s no narrative to speak of and running around shooting enemies until a counter reaches zero is not long-term enjoyment.
Hardly a recommendation, but at a dollar, you could probably do worse than Solar Warfare.