The Drowning is a first-person shooter set in a post apocalyptic world where grotesque creatures that used to be human now roam, and your objective is it take out these monsters while gathering supplies. It's a rather played out premise, but in truth the iPad doesn't exactly have a long list of enjoyable shooters, so I can't really hold the tried-and-true story approach against it.
The action plays out in arena style throwdowns where you face off against a timer and a horde of mutated creatures who want nothing more than to kill you. You are often given the option to either attack or defend a specific area, and depending on which mode you choose you'll either be protecting barriers to keep the monsters out or running about the small environments and popping headshots as they attempt to chase you down.
After each round you are rewarded with supplies and items based on your performance, and the better you do the higher your chances are of scoring rare gear. When you retrieve a new weapon after a battle it's often in need of repair, meaning you'll have to find new parts and tools before you can actually use it to protect yourself.
This is where The Drowning's in-app purchases come in. If you want to expedite your progress in the game you can purchase rare loot using gold, which is obtained by purchasing it with real cash. To the game's credit, it appears to be entirely possible to progress as far as you want without spending a dime, but you're going to waste a lot more time replaying levels you've already beaten in order to unlock the gear needed to proceed.
Much is made of The Drowning's control scheme in its App Store description, which in all honesty is one of the most unique approaches to shooting I've seen on the App Store. Rather than use virtual analog sticks to move, turn, and shoot -- this option is still available as a secondary choice, for the record -- you tap on a spot in the environment and then wait for your character to run in that direction. You turn your point of view by swiping in either direction and shooting is handled by tapping two fingers on the screen, between which your bullet flies. This scheme takes some getting used to, and I often found myself firing wildly as the game seemed to have trouble picking up my taps when the action got too heated.
The Drowning is free to download, but requires at least the 2nd generation iPad in order to play. If you're willing to spend a few bucks you'll probably have a great time, though if you'd rather grind your way through you'll be playing for considerably longer. If you're a fan of shooters on the App Store and feel like trying a new control scheme, it's certainly worth a look.
- Key specs
- Form factor Tablet
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 9.7 inches
- Storage type Internal storage (16 GB, Flash)
- Maximum battery life Up to 10 hours
- Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 in
- Weight 0.96 lb
- Announced 2014-10-16