Review: The Drowning

By Owen Faraday 02 Aug 2013 0
Arise chicken. Arise. "You say.. funny thing."

The Drowning might sound like the emo band that the kids in the flat downstairs are into this week, but no -- it's a new iOS shooter from Mobage that's making a lot of heady claims about revolutionizing touchscreen action games.

The mobile FPS is a damsel in distress with a lot of would-be white knights right now. The many games in development claiming to "revolutionize" first-person action games for mobile devices is a tacit admission of something that anybody who's ever spent five minutes playing an iOS shooter knows: the genre just plain sucks on a touchscreen device.

Surely there will be great rewards for the game that manages to make the world's most popular video game genre work on the world's fastest growing games platform. Let's see if The Drowning can pull the sword from the stone.

Let's get some basic stuff out of the way. The Drowning is a game by Mobage -- if that means nothing to you, it suffices to say that that means this game is freemium out the wazoo. The act of playing the game is frequently obstructed by timers, and cooldowns, and macguffins to collect, all of which can be circumvented by those willing to part with currency. Let's not waste time tsking at the inclusion of this stuff in a Mobage title because that's like being totally shocked when your cat tries to eat your goldfish.

Does the gun have a sniffle? All right, let's upgrade this Glock with these... antibiotics.

We can dispense with the plot pretty quickly, too: a horrible calamity has befallen the world and most of your fellow humans have been turned into zombies who resemble Buy more energy? One expositionary voiceover says: "We scavenge what we can from the old world and wait for something new to arrive." That's as good an explantion of freemium games as I've ever heard.[/caption]

The Drowning seems to assume that you're playing with your device in front of you on a table -- playing one-handed while standing up (as you would do in the cash machine queue or on the bus) is a proper chore. The Drowning attempts to design around this limitation by giving you little reason to move.

Being zombies, your enemies charge at you like Mortyr of iOS shooters. Judged as a shooting gallery game it's mostly inoffensive, but if this is the revolution then I'll have the ancien régime back, if you don't mind.

The game was played on an iPhone 4S and iPad 4th-gen for this review.

Review: The Drowning

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