Iaculator is an arcade space-shooter Windows Phone game that takes elements from classic games such as Asteroids and Galaga to create a mildly entertaining time waster of a game where you are tasked with destroying everything in sight.
The game has potential but the pace of the game drags at times to the point of being too easy. Iaculator isn't a total wash with nice graphics, the ability to use points earned to upgrade your ship and a decent range of weapons to deploy.
Available for low-memory devices, Iaculator Free Space Shooter isn't a bad gaming option to have in your Windows Phone library. It just could use a little fine-tuning.
Menus, we don't need no stinking menus
Iaculator is the first Windows Phone game in recent memory that launches directly into game play. You do have a few menu buttons, such as the settings button (second button to the left), but not a dedicated opening menu.
Along with the settings buttons, across the top of the gaming screen you will find a pause button, your life counter, level indicator, weapons menu and score.
Iaculator has two control options in the settings menu. You can use your Windows Phone tilt sensors to steer your ship or you can tap/hold the screen to move the ship around. Fire controls are simple, tap the screen to shoot. Since your tapping the screen to fire your ship's weapons, I found it easier to disable the tilt sensor controls and go with the touch to move method.
Blasting everything in sight
The goal of the game is to blast everything into tiny particles of dust without having the same done to you. Game play is level based that either has you facing a fleet of enemy space ships or dodging and blasting your way through an asteroid field.
As you earn points, the opportunity to upgrade your ship will become available. The star that sits next to your score display will flash which means you've earned enough points to upgrade your ship. This upgrade typically means you get more fire power.
Speaking of which, every now and then a crystal cube will drift down the screen that will give you a weapons boost. This is often a limited boost that will add an ammo count at the top of the screen next to your weapons button. The boosts range from more powerful missiles to a flame thrower to an ice thrower.
Should you lose all your lives, Iaculator will remember your level and restart the game at that point. Should you ever want to replay a level, just tap the level indicator to pull up the gaming level map.
Iaculator has a lot going for it. Nice graphics, decent game play, easy mechanics and ship upgrades. It's not a bad time waster of a game but a few things hold this game back a little.
For starters, it needs a menu. While I like jumping straight into game play, it's a pain to have to tap all the menu buttons from the game screen. There are a few lulls in the action where you can do this safely but more times than not, you'll lose a life while trying to tap a menu button. Fortunately, if you can get your finger to the pause button you can toggle around the menu buttons while the game is paused.
Maybe keep the launch straight to game play approach but when you pause the game a full menu pops up?
Next up, give the enemy ships a little boost in energy. While the asteroids will come at you fast and hard, the enemy ships will at times slowly meander down the screen shooting every once in a while. It is as if the enemy pilot is sitting back in his Captain's chair just chillin' as he navigates across the vast voids of space.
Last suggestion is give the game some boss ships. While having game play levels is nice how about upping the ante every 3 or 5 levels with a bad-ass boss ship? Something that takes more than one shot to destroy?
Don't get me wrong, while Iaculator has plenty of room for growth as is the game isn't all that bad. It's just after level 14 or 15, it starts to get a little on the stale side and you find yourself intentionally flying into an asteroid to break the monotony.
Iaculator is worth trying and the game has potential. Hopefully, we'll see an update give it a little more gusto.
- Iaculator Free Space Shooter – Windows Phone 8 – Free – Store Link