Hands on with Minigore on iPhone

Go big or go home

Hands on with Minigore on iPhone
| Minigore

Twin-stick shooters blown up big on iPhone, and Minigore hopes to get caught in the blast with its own hardcore take on the genre. Its no-frills action definitely delivers a pure gaming experience, though the gore isn't the only thing miniaturised in this bare-bones game. As we discovered in our hands on, Minigore promises little in the way of satisfying, substantive gameplay.

Set deep within a dark forest filled with mysterious black creatures, the game has you guiding machine gun-wielding John Gore in a survival rampage. Staying alive means killing any and every creature that comes into sight using the twin virtual analogue sticks situated in the bottom corners of the screen. The left controls John's movement, whereas the right stick fires bullets from his gun.

The enigmatic creatures come in two varieties: big boxy bad guys and smaller counterparts capable of swarming around you. Other foes supposedly make appearances, though we were unable to catch a glimpse of them in the approximately dozen times we played the game.

With dozens of creatures targeting you at any given moment, you're forced to run and gun in a desperate effort to stay alive. John can take a little nip and walk away with his life, but avoiding a second fatal bite is a matter of steering clear of his shadowy enemies.

Minigore is as much about evasion as it is offence. Unfortunately, that often proved difficult with cutouts of trees, bushes, and rocks obscuring enemies from clear view. Several times John was killed because we ran into a set of bushes only to discover that a creature was hiding inside. Either the enemies need to be more easily identified or these objects have to be reworked to minimise these all but unavoidable deaths.

Green four leaf clovers randomly appear when a defeated enemy's body disappears. Collecting three of these temporarily transforms John into an invincible monster that can mow through enemies with a flick of the left analogue stick. It's short-lived, and once you've run down a handful of creatures John returns to his normal gun-loving self.

Points awarded for kills contribute to your overall score, which is tabulated upon John's untimely death. High scores are kept on your handset, although we didn't see any support for online leaderboards or Twitter. Some form of network integration has to be included if the game is to have any lasting value.

Right now, it appears to have near to none. Minigore consists of nothing more than enemies streaming onto the screen and nothing in the way of depth.

Aside from the temporary cloverleaf power-up, there aren't any secondary weapons, abilities to unlock or upgrade, extra levels, or even a diversity of enemies to fight. To be blunt, the game in its current state is so shockingly shallow that it's difficult to understand the appeal.

With so many other twin-stick shooters on the market, the cute, campy style of Minigore simply won't be enough to set it apart. More has to be done to instill some depth to its gameplay. Without something bigger to bite down on, Minigore may end up being just a diminutive distraction.

Tracy Erickson
Tracy Erickson
Manning our editorial outpost in America, Tracy comes with years of expertise at mashing a keyboard. When he's not out painting the town red, he jets across the home of the brave, covering press events under the Pocket Gamer banner.