After lots of eggnog, food, merriment, and reminiscing about how great 2017 was for iOS gaming, I'm ready to get back to playing games on my iPhone and iPad and telling you all about them.
I started off the year by playing a simple, retro-style survival shooter called Let Them Come, and while it didn't blow me away, it was enjoyable enough to occupy a decent amount of my time this week.
Fantastic retro style
I'm a sucker for a good retro-style game, and since it seems to be a common theme these days, I guess that means I'm lucky. In any case, Let Them Come delivers a fantastic experience by including high-quality 16-bit-style graphics that really do feel fresh while remaining true to video game roots.
On top of the graphics being top-notch, the soundtrack is incredible. The heavy synth and pulsating bass of the electronica tracks that make up the game's soundstage are not only adrenaline-pumping, but remind me of some of my favorite music in video games ever. It's upbeat enough to make you amped up for the gameplay but sinister and spooky enough to fit within the context of the game.
Let Them Come is a very simple game, which isn't a bad thing — it does its job quite while.
You are tasked with shooting a giant mounted machine gun at aliens coming down a dark hallway. The goal is to survive wave after wave of increasing difficulties. Of course, along the way you have the opportunity to upgrade your health, acquire grenades, and load your gun with better ammo by using an in-game currency that you receive for playing the game.
Although the game is simple, the combination of upgrading your gun, buying melee weapons for enemies that get to close, and having a limited supply of grenades and other consumable weapons gives the game enough variety to keep the gameplay interesting.
Some progression flaws
Although the game feels and plays similarly to an endless runner, there is actually a progression.
When a wave of aliens defeats you, you aren't forced to the beginning of the game, rather you get a chance to buy items and upgrades before returning to the action. While it's nice to know that you don't have to grind through all the levels whenever you can't beat a wave of enemies, the progression has some flaws.
When I got to the first boss wave, I came to realize that normal bullets did little to no damage to the creature, which made defeating the purple alien seem like an insurmountable task. You have to have the right kind of weapons and ammo to deplete its health bar. This meant I had to play the boss wave over and over again just to get enough in-game currency to buy an upgrade or special bullets that could hurt it.
While I was able to beat the boss and continue on in the game, it took longer than expected and really zapped the momentum out of the gameplay.
Let Them Come is an enjoyable game, and aside from a couple of flaws in the progression, delivers a solid experience for only $1.99.
It's not going to blow your mind and you likely will play it for a few weeks and then forget about it, but if you're looking for an easy-to-play shoot 'em up game, Let Them Come is almost as good as it gets.
Other games this week
Anithero — Digital Board Game: Become the ultimate thief by using your stealth, cunning, and the odd murder or two. $3.99 in the App Store.
Bridge Constructor Portal: It's time to start thinking with portals and bridges! This hilarious combination of Portals gameplay mixed with bridge constructor allows you to have endless creativity and will kepp you entertained for hours. $4.99 in the App Store.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.