Each week, we ask members of our App Army for their feedback on the latest and greatest releases on mobile.

One top pick this week was Crescent Moon Games's retrotastic vertical shmup, Operation Dracula.

Let's see what our App Army had to say...


Fans of Capcom's shmups from the '80s and '90s... prepare to be delighted! Operation Dracula is a shoot 'em up that's simple to play, yet difficult to master.

You need to survive five stages using one of four characters and their special attacks. My advice? Blow everything away in this retrotastic 16-bit shooter!

Thankfully, Operation Dracula is compatible with MFi controllers, but the touch controls are fine and fluid too. It's easier to get to grips with the controls on the iPhone and iPad Mini though... the game's just not quite as comfortable on the iPad.

Operation Dracula is both marvellous and incredibly tough to crack. It's a great interpretation of classic Japanese shmups that'll delight anyone who's after a challenge.


Operation Dracula is a hardcore game through and through. If you're the kind of gamer who enjoys a good challenge, look no further!

There are three different ships to choose from at the start, each with their own distinct abilities. The controls are buttery smooth, making it an absolute pleasure to play.

The developers made a wise choice, going for one touch controls over smattering fake buttons all over the screen.

Operation Dracula really reminds me of Super Killer Hornet, only without all the maths. It's tough, but utterly rewarding and entertaining.


I fired this up with my MFi controller, but I'm sorry to say I'm not really enjoying it. Forcing you to use the D-pad is annoying, and it's super twitchy.

Having the slow-down button helps a bit, but it feels like neither of speed works; it's either super quick or super slow. Give us analogue sticks and sensitivity controls please!

The game itself looks fab though. The touch controls rock. I really prefer them to the MFi controls.


This game has a real old-school feel to it which I'm loving. The controls are perfect - they make Operation Dracula feel right at home on mobile.

I love the bosses at the end of each stage, and the giant explosions and general levels of destruction blow me away.

The graphical style and soundtrack take me on a trip back in time too. I can almost imagine playing this on a SEGA system; that's what I really like about this game.


Operation Dracula is a downright amazing shoot 'em up that's up there with Deathsmiles, Dodonpachi, and Raiden Legacy.

As mentioned by others, the game's loaded with huge explosions, and I love the challenge of the big bosses at the end of each mission.

The difficulty ramps up pretty fast - by the second mission I felt amazed that I'd finally completed it. It's a really rewarding experience.


This is a great shmup. I love the character designs and how the difficulty level ramps up at a steady pace, keeping the me on my toes from the start.

Bullets and other types of ammo fly randomly around the screen as you play, which left me scrambling my craft around in the hopes of picking up each and every one.

Each time I mess up and I spit out a curse word. I keep losing one ship after the other, even though each enemy unit has a prescribed pattern for each stage.

The big, bad bosses are always a real hindrance to my progress, but despite all this I still love Operation Dracula!


Yeah, the difficulty curve ramps up madly... and I'm playing on easy!


Easy mode isn't easy at all - it's super stressful at times!


I kinda love this and hate it at the same time. It's a fantastic bullet hell style shmup. I'm not usually a fan of playing these games on iPhone as so many lack of physical controls.

When I heard this had MFi support I was super excited, but the MFi implementation is not really up to scratch.


Usually I find that the older the shmup, the harder it is. That's not the case with Operation Dracula though. It's the most difficult shmup I've played in a while.

There was one boss I just couldn't beat on normal mode, but I'll leave the hardcore shmup players to judge.

The graphics, music, and characters couldn't be any more '90s. The controls are great, but I'm still suffering from the old shmup "finger in the way" problem, especially that there's so much going on.


If you are hardcore shoot 'em up fan this game is for you. I used to play these kinds of games in the arcade back in the day, but Operation Dracula is extremely difficult.

I was only able to get to the second boss and I tried my best. I'm the sort of person who gives up quite easily, so it's not for me. If you like a challenge this one's for you - it'll take you right back into the world of the arcade.


Holy cow, this game is much, much harder than I expected to be! If you're new to the shmup / bullet hell genre, I really can't suggest this one to start off with.

While initially very difficult, the game does cut the player some slack by making the ship you control auto-fire, which allows you to focus on staying alive.

You also have a super attack and screen-clearing bombs at your disposal, and the slower easy mode should you need it.

The super fast reflexes Operation Dracula requires can definitely be off putting. However, if you enjoy weaving through a screen full of bullets, an awesome soundtrack, and sharp retro graphics, this one's for you.


I love Blazing Star, and 30 seconds into my first game of Operation Dracula I felt right at home... even if I was already staring at the "Continue?" screen countdown.

It looks, feels, and sounds very much like Blazing Star, only with a level of difficulty that would make its horrendous mech-baby-alien final boss weep uncontrollably. It's stupid hard, in the most intense way.

Even after allowing myself to be beaten down to trying Operation Dracula's easy mode, I only barely survived the second level.

Through the tears and shattered teeth, this is a really rad shmup. Just be ready to have your gamer pride shot down after your first play.


I'm afraid I really don't like Operation Dracula. I found the gameplay to be completely manic, to the extent that I just didn't find the levels fun.

I think part of the problem for me is that I don't have any nostalgia for this genre, so I just see a blur of colours and sounds, rather than all the little references to previous games.

It's not the genre I dislike - I really enjoyed the recent Shooting Stars shmup, finding it both fun and humorous. Perhaps we are just too spoilt these days by games being much easier on the whole.


If I hadn't fallen in love with shmups ripping me to pieces as a wee young'n I doubt I would enjoy this game either.

This genre can be particularly brutal, and I hasten to add that I'm really quite a wimp in just about all other areas of gaming. My grandpa ran a bowling alley, and he had a Metal Slug / Blazing Star arcade cabinet.

Teeth-gnashingly hard scrolling shooters are my jam, but even I agree that this one is truly stupid hard!

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Did you pick up Operation Dracula? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!