AbstractWar 2.0 for iPhone provides well paced frantic action in a bright neon style

AbstractWar 2.0 [rating: 4.5/5]

I love a good shoot-em up and so I was excited to get my hands on a new dual shooter called AbstractWar 2.0.

AbstractWar 2.0 is a shoot-em up in the style of the classic Geometry Wars and is a brightly lit, neon fire storm of action where you have to survive against 10 different enemies. The game is played in a top down view and the style while playing the game you feel a little like you are inside of Tron! While the game is primarily a 2D top down style game there are four view options. Even before you launch the game you get to see one of the strong things about this game and that is it’s ferocious action as while you navigate your selection through a demo takes place on the screen behind you and you quickly get an idea of what is soon to come!

The most difficult, for me at least, is the 3D view which enables the 2D playing area to be able to move in and out of the screen, I can certainly see that this can add to the difficulty level but for me it was a little bit too much. Then there are the 2D Centre, 2D Edge and Classic modes which are just simple variances on the same where there your spaceship is either locked to the centre of the screen and the playing field moves or vice-versa, and for me it was the 2D Centre that was my view of choice. Great to have the options though.


Talking of options there are 4 ways to play the game. Firstly there are two “Normal” modes in the form of Dual and Mono. Dual mode gives you two virtual D-Pads, one to steer your craft, one to direct your fire while Mono mode uses the accelerometer to steer your ship. While I found the Dual Mode the most responsive I also found that my thumbs often covered vital parts of the screen resulting in the early explosion of my my craft.

Cruces mode limits the enemy attacks to only vertical and horizontal movement, don’t expect this to make life easy for you though as things don’t get easier at all. The same can be said for the Pacifist mode where as the title would suggest you have no guns and instead must relay on avoiding enemies and detonating explosives to stay alive instead. Which ever of these 4 modes you choose you are in for a lot of fun.

The game play is a little slower than some similar titles but this is no bad thing, it allows for a more considered approach, all be it no less frantic, and yet the action still comes fast a furiously with the enemies emanating from the four corners of the play area before they hurl their technicolor selves torwards you intent on the destruction of your spaceship. They don’t shoot at you, which is a small mercy, but they come at you thick and fast as you avoid them and destroy them at the same time.

All of this and we haven’t even touched on Campaign Mode! Campaign Mode consists of 4 levels covering Easy, Medium, Hard and Very Hard each of which consist of 6 sub-levels each with there own objective such as surviving for a certain length of time. You’ll start with 2 of the 4 levels already unlocked and you’ll need to clear each level to unlock the subsequent ones, which is no easy feat!


In all of the modes, other than Pacifist Mode, your weapons will upgrade and offer better and better offence. You start with simple bullets that then becoming bouncing bullets, to rockets, missiles and the ultimate Dead Wave which covers the screen with hundreds of small remote controlled bullets that kill everything they touch, it’s both effective and beautiful to behold.

As with many games these days you can play you own iPod music however the relentless sound of your gunfire, the enemy ship explosions and particularly the ear numbing sound when you own ship ultimately crashes makes for the perfect accompaniment to the on screen action.

As if this wasn’t enough there is a multi-player option available via Bluetooth and Achievements and High Score boards available via the integration with OpenFeint so there is plenty to keep things interesting and all for the great price of just 99c.

The Good

  • Options, options, options
  • Frantic but well paced action
  • Great neon style graphics

The Not So Good

  • Accelerometer control can be tricky
  • Virtual D-pads can obscure the action

Price: $0.99 (iTunes Store Preview)
Updated: Mar 20, 2010
Reviewed Version: 2.3.1
Size: 6.0 MB
Languages: English, Spanish
Seller: Carlos Martinez-Almeida Garcia-Jimenez
© 2010 Manuel Martínez-Almeida
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone and iPod touch. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.


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