If you grew up playing games like R-Type, then you're going to instantly have a soft spot for Super Hydorah. It's a game that emulates those side-on shooters with aplomb, all giant bosses and bursts of laser fire.

But that's not to say it doesn't bring its own ideas to the party. This is a game that sprinkles freshness onto an almost-ancient genre, and in doing so manages to create something really rather special.

Super duper

The game is set over a series of levels, and sees you soaring through space, caverns, space caverns, the surfaces of alien worlds, and much, much more.

The controls are relatively simple. You move a thumb around the screen to control your plucky little starfighter. You shoot automatically but, if you push your other thumb down at the same time as the first, you'll stop shooting.

Super Hydorah iOS review screenshot 1

Interestingly, that's something you're actually going to need to do. There are levels where you can blow up things you're not supposed to, and you'll take a massive dent to your score if you do.

There are other twists here too. Some of the levels throw in environmental hazards, others change the direction of play. There are huge trucks to destroy, and bosses that have multiple stages you need to blast.

Super Hydorah iOS review screenshot 2

While there are new ideas at play here, there's still a familiarity that you're either going to love or, if you're less of a fan of the genre, find a little on the cloying side.

That's not to denigrate the action here though. It's fast and fluid, balanced perfectly somewhere between an old-school arcade machine and the chaos of modern bullet hell. There's challenge here, that's for sure, but you're rarely completely overwhelmed.

Shooter in the dark

There's a thrust and bounce to Super Hydorah that makes you want to keep going. You'll unlock new weapons, find secrets, and weave your way through intergalactic monsters, waves of deadly ships, and a whole lot more.

It's not going to be to everyone's tastes, but if you're looking for a new shooter to keep you entertained for the next week or so, then this one comes highly recommended.