Mobile Spotlight 12/10/12: Tilt to Live & Flick Golf!

Welcome back to Mobile Spotlight! This week we’ll be taking a look at two games that take an established game paradigm and put a spin on it – in this case, literally.

First up, we have Tilt to Live by One Man Left. It’s a 2D space shooter akin to Asteroids or Geometry wars, and is available on the iOS platform via the Apple App Store for $2.99. Like the aforementioned similar games, your goal is to survive wave after wave of enemies while piloting your ship and defending yourself with your selection of weapons.

So what sets Tilt to Live apart? Primarily, the game’s control scheme. True to its name, you control your ship not by on-screen touch controls, but purely through your device’s built-in gyroscope. If you’re a fan of driving games that use this control setup (such as the Asphalt series) you’ll feel right at home. If not, no worries – the game comes with two built-in control schemes and a custom option, so you can set your own center point and hold your device however you want. As for the weapons, your ship is completely unarmed; your weapons spawn randomly around the stage, and will fire once you fly into them. This creates an interesting, high-octane dynamic of constantly staying on the move, avoiding enemies in time to arm yourself and take them out. It also creates a greater sense of vulnerability and danger, since you can’t just fire when you please, lending to a more risky gameplay dynamic. And similar to other space shooters, the difficulty will ramp up as time goes on, spawning more enemies at a time, sometimes in specific formations that are extremely tough to dodge if not eliminated right away.

TTL has some great longevity beyond the core gameplay. There’s the game’s wacky sense of humor (which shows itself subtlety through menus and achievement descriptions), but even more prominent is an RPG-esque progression system. The game’s achievements are each worth a set number of “Pocket Points”, and upon reaching certain milestones, you’ll unlock a new weapon to use in the game. These will appear at random during a game, and it’s nice to have extra options to keep the game a more tactical, refreshing experience. There’s also a whole slew of achievements to go for, each with a clever and funny description. I actually found myself driven to unlock more of them to uncover more of One Man Left’s unique brand of humor. Finally, there’s a nice assortment of game modes to choose from that will mix up the gameplay, from the tried-and-true Classic mode to Code Red, Classic mode cranked up to 11. There’s also the time-crunching Gauntlet mode and the truly unique Frostbite mode, which requires you to ram and shatter your frozen enemies before they fall into the hot springs and reanimate, chasing after you instead. If that’s not enough for you, One Man Left offers the Viva La Turret! expansion for $1.99, adding a brand-new gametype, two new weapons, and two-player co-op. It’s a huge value for just two bucks.

In short, if you’re looking for your space shooter fix, look no further than Tilt to Live. Grab it today!

Also up this week is Flick Golf! The exclamation point isn’t just part of the title – it expresses my exuberance at finding such a gem in the sea of Golf games found on the App Store. Developed by Full Fat Productions, the same folks behind Agent Dash and NFL Kicker, Flick Golf! puts a new spin – so to speak – on the traditional Golf formula.

The best way to describe it would be to think of a cross between a driving range and Skeeball. The game revolves around you teeing shots at the fairway green on the game’s multiple Golf courses – 20 in all – aiming to get as close as possible to the hole. Several radii surround the hole, awarding increasing amounts of points the closer you get to the hole, with a hole-in-one awarding the most. The thing that sets Flick Golf! apart is that you are in complete control of the ball from the hit until it hits the green. Flicking on the screen after hitting the ball will let you put a spin on the ball, influencing its trajectory until it stops bouncing. There’s no meter, no precise calculations – just flick to hit the ball and control the trajectory, but watch for the wind, which could send your ball flying off-course. It’s a much more fast-paced, exciting take on a traditional sport.

The two included modes, Quickshot and World Tour, provide a fairly decent amount of longevity for a mobile game, taking about 30-45 minutes to get through each. However, the real value is evident when you push yourself to reach new high scores to compete with your friends and the world. Quickshot and World Tour use a progressive unlock system, rewarding good performance with a steady chain of new stages to unlock. As for the modes themselves, Quickshot sees you trying to score as many points as possible within a limited time frame, while World Tour grants you a finite amount of shots but as much time as you need. And if you make it to the end of World Tour, you’ll unlock Quickshot Pro, a more challenging variant of the vanilla Quickshot mode. The game’s a visual treat as well, boasting top-notch visuals and lighting effects. Textures are crisp and sharp, and the environments are vibrant and surprisingly varied, from traditional greens to mountainside courses, and even an island getaway where you tee off aboard a yacht.

Flick Golf! is available on the App Store and on Google Play for free. You can opt to unlock all courses immediately for a $1.99 fee, but otherwise, the experience doesn’t cost you a dime. What are you waiting for? Get it now!

Thanks for reading, this has been Mobile Spotlight. Join me again next week as I show you the best the mobile market has to offer.

Until then, game on!