Isolani Review (iOS)
Isolani is a free-to-play, first-person shooter may not offer anything novel to a well worn genre, but it still delivers a solid gameplay experience. Although it gives gamers an epic storyline as its backdrop, the app succeeds as an uncomplicated shoot 'em up that may be too easy for its own good.
Set in a bleak future where humanity is at the bottom of the food chain, Isolani's world is inhabited by flying robots that guard a spacecraft located in the far reaches of space. The first episode of the app takes place on the ship, as gamers are tasked with safely navigating an amnesiac through the environment.
Our hero, tasked with the pretty tough job of saving humanity, will use various weapons, including a shotgun and an AK-47, to eliminate the droids and blast his way through different sections of the craft. The universe is supposedly dying, and it's his job to bring some much needed light into the world.
An invisible d-pad on the left side of your screen is used for moving the hero, and an icon on the right side is used for firing your respective weapon. Aiming your gun requires sliding a finger across the right section of your device, and once you've locked onto your target, simply press the button to shoot. Isolani's control mechanic is a perfect fit for its FPS aesthetic, giving players a completely smooth and seamless combat experience.
There are no health or bullet packs to be found on the craft, but your constitution regenerates within seconds and your weapons have limitless bullets. As long as you take cover from the robots and keep your health meter up, killing the enemies should be a piece of cake. Since my strategy centered on dodging the robots' lasers and shooting only when my health bar was filled, each stage took me more than five minutes to complete.
Although the actual gameplay was far from boring, the action does get repetitive after completing the first several stages. The only variation in your experience will be the types of guns you will use within each stage, and by the final level of the first episode I actually wished for a bit more variety in the robots I faced and the tasks I needed to accomplish. Spraying robots with bullets is completely enjoyable, but even unadulterated fun has its tipping point.
Another frustrating Isolani fact is that as of this review, episode two, which is also free to play, won't be released until later this week. It's refreshing that DeNA has released a free to play game that gives gamers a ton of action without asking for a penny, but giving players just nine levels to work with just isn't enough. Everything will sort itself out once episode two and three are available, but for now Isolani is an unfinished work.
If episode one of Isolani had a bit more variety to its gameplay, this title would continue to pull me in. Episode two may be just what the doctor ordered, and I wouldn't be surprised if Isolani exists as a shooter that builds momentum as the storyline progresses. I just wish we saw a bit more of Isolani's world once the app went live, but maybe when all is said and done, this space adventure will truly be as epic as its storyline. Until then, it's still a good enough FPS title to check out.
This review was completed with a downloaded copy of Isolani for iOS.