I'm all for does-what-it-says-on-the-tin titles, but really? Frantic Shooter? As first impressions go, it's about as good as one of those Call of Zombie Wars - 3D Action Game! knock-off apps.
But it is an accurate, if boring, summary of what the game is - it's a top-down shooter and boy, is it frantic.
In terms of structure, Frantic Shooter is hardly breaking any new ground - it's a wave-based, high-score, arena shmup. You dodge bullets for as long as you can, die, and then start over.
Felled enemies drop power-ups, which fill a bar in the top left to upgrade your weapons. This means that your firepower should be increasing at roughly the same rate as the approaching hordes up the ante, resulting in runs that explode into bullet hell breathlessness pretty quickly.
A lot of this is also down to the game's control scheme, which eschews virtual sticks in favour of an auto-firing player character and a drag-to-move system.Keep moving
It's tricky at first - subtle drags and touches for weaving between bullets, massive panicked swipes to launch across the screen.
The issue is momentum, with the rocket-booted characters continuing to drift after you've withdrawn your digit.
However, when you get the hang of it, it's actually one of the game's greatest assets. You quickly begin to think of it as a system for stylishly and practically getting out of a tight spot, a la Vanquish or Max Payne.
And indeed, when you destroy some of the bigger end-of-wave enemies, you get a satisfying bit of slow-mo as your final bullet connects.Showing character
But after you've played a few times and been killed, what is there to keep you coming back?
Well, there's also a Crossy Road-esque carousel of different characters to choose from, ranging from serious-looking soldier types to a furious bipedal turd.
These can be bought with virtual currency or real money.
The issue, though, is one that plagues the game as a whole - aesthetically, it fails to hit the right notes.
Fully 3D but trying to maintain some retro essence, all the characters are blocky and Minecraft-esque. The massive green enemies (and their equally massive green bullets) recall Taito's failed reinvention of Space Invaders for the PS2 era.
It's difficult to put into words, but between this and the light wub-wub of the soundtrack, it's a game that lacks a coherent style.Tough competition
That's not to say Frantic Shooter isn't - I enjoyed it quite a lot, in fact - but the App Store is so flooded with great shooters that it's difficult to justify spending time with one that lacks its own distinct hook.
That said, if there's one group out there who needed Frantic Shooter - one downtrodden, neglected group - it's MFi controller owners. This is compatible with them, and it works pretty damn well.
Sadly, that's not quite enough to elevate the game beyond competence.