Illuminations is developed by Killer Robots and is an interesting shoot-em-up type game. It is based around the idea of a firework show. You have to shoot rockets that come up from the bottom of the screen in order to make them explode, if you miss too many, then the show is over for you. You also might find enemies that might spawn at random to keep you from “giving a good show,” these also must be eliminated (and added to the show).
Layout is simple. The main menu allows you to begin a new game, view high scores, view options and instructions. In the options menu you can turn on and off sound and/or the music. When you tap the screen around the actual buttons, fireworks are seen exploding – nice touch.
Within the game itself you have your “show meter” in the top left corner if you miss too many rockets the meter will drop, it is drop too far then it's game over. In essence, it's a life meter. In the upper right hand corner on the screen, the blue meter displays the amount of ammo you have left, the better the weapon the faster it falls, but if you pause, the ammo will regenerate. To the right of the blue bar displays one of five ammos that you can obtain. The pink bar is your bomb reload timer is essence. When you set off a bomb, the bar has to reload before you can use another. The number at the end of the bar is how many bombs you have left. Both ammo, lives, and bombs can be obtained from shooting the enemies.
The game utilizes the tilt controls in the Phone and by tapping on the left-side of the screen you shoot your normal ammo, double tap the right-side of the screen. To pause the game and view a menu, double tap the pause button in the upper left-hand corner.
The graphics in the game are fairly simple your “aircraft,” enemies, rockets and ammo all appear 2D. When explosions occur – thus the fireworks, the particle graphics are very nice for the game. The background is a 3D basic cityscape the moves around at random. While many of the graphics are very basic, I think it adds to the overall user experience of the game.
I didn't like the fact that the neutral position for the tilt controls was when the iPhone was lying flat on its back. I'd like to see a a neutral reset button whether manual or automatically set when the game begins.
When firing you letting off a bomb, I noticed that in my mind I would switch the controls around meaning I'd shoot using the right side of the screen instead of the left side. It would be nice if there was an option to switch this.
I find this game pretty cool and oddly addicting. At only $3.99 this game will keep you occupied for hours. Some might find the price a little steep, but if you are into asteroid-like games with much better graphics and weapon upgrades, then this game is going to be for you.
[Illuminations is available from the iTunes App Store.]