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Daily iPhone App: Star Marine Infinite Ammo


Glitchsoft's oddly-titled Star Marine: Infinite Ammo (more on why that's weird in a moment) is both good at bad. First, it's good at heart. Star Marine: Infinite Ammo is a Contra-style run-and-gun title that has you controlling a soldier on a spaceship among other environments. Your job is to fight through hordes of aliens and escape. The action is great and fans of the old Contra game will find a lot to enjoy.

However, Star Marine has a few unfortunate issues. First of all, the controls are a little more wonky than they should be. For example, the action often gets fast and furious. When things heated up in Contra, you could duck and jump out of the way reliably. Star Marine's touch controls, by contrast, don't always get you where you need to go. I got hit by several stray bullets and alien flyers because the controls weren't quite as tight as they should be.

Repetition is also an issue. While the environment options eventually expand, the first few levels are basically the same hallways and enemies over and over. An enjoyable boss battle becomes drudgery after you've done it several times.

The freemium-style in-app purchase system doesn't help, either. When you discover a gun you haven't unlocked with gems you've collected, you just plain don't get it. Plus, the gems come way too slowly. If this was a freemium game, the rate might be acceptable (and I fully expect it to drop to free at some point), but for the current price of US$1.99, it's too slow.

I've got one more complaint. For a game called "Infinite Ammo," there's only one gun I found that was truly infinite. Everything else, including weapons you can buy, health packs and special attacks, are limited.

Despite those issues, Star Marine: Infinite Ammo can be fun. There's even a Boss Rush and Survival Mode to enjoy after you've finished the main campaign. I don't know that I'd recommend it at the $1.99 price, but this game seems made to be discounted, so keep an eye out for it. At a slightly cheaper price (or maybe if the freemium system is tweaked to be a little more forgiving), Star Machine: Infinite Ammo has a lot more going for it.

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