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Gameplay Evaluation: R-Type on iPhone

November 15, 2010

I’ve been playing the iPhone version for R-Type and while I think overall it is a great implementation of the game that suits the platform, a few issues have arisen. Given that it’s easy to update onto iPhone and you can then evolve the game, I’d really like to see this happen to R-Type. It’s a great game but could be better. My main issue is that there is blind-spot created by the use of the touch-screen as the controller input for movement. So, take this screen for instance:

Now remeber that I’m touching the ship I control onscreen, so it get obscured by my thumb. That’s also what creates the blind spot. As I play two-handed, using my right-tumb as movement control and left for power-up shooting. So if an attack or projectile come in the shared area below, I can’t see it:

So how to fix it? They could look to make units that come in from the back avoid the area and not fire from there. This would have the negative impact on messing with the classic layout and structure of the game. So I’d suggest that they allow the user to place their finger for control at any point on the screen (other than an area dedicated for another control) and from that point of placement, is the point of movement origin. Thus the player can move the ship without obscuring it. You can sort of do this now, but it would need more work as there is a problem currently. If you remove your finger (for example to remove a battery warning message) and you can’t remember the point of origin where you placed it, then it can mess your game. So If the player can, each time they move their finger/thumb off the screen replace it anywhere else – make that point becomes the new origin of movement, I think this would improve the game.

The other thing that I would add is more places to re-start from. Currently you can start a name game from the beginning of a level you have previously completed. It would be good to expand that so that you can start a name game, not just by selecting the level, but from one of the existing checkpoints in that level.

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