Best dual-stick shooting games for iOS devices

Jan 18, 2011
Games

The lack of any actual controls seemingly hasn’t hurt the dual-stick shooter genre on iOS devices. Turns out that whether the analog sticks are actual or virtual, gamers still can’t get enough of the control scheme. It’s been roughly a year since I recapped the genre, and while games like Minigore and Guerrilla Bob will always […]

The lack of any actual controls seemingly hasn’t hurt the dual-stick shooter genre on iOS devices. Turns out that whether the analog sticks are actual or virtual, gamers still can’t get enough of the control scheme.

It’s been roughly a year since I recapped the genre, and while games like Minigore and Guerrilla Bob will always have a special spot in any shooter fan’s collection, there are quite a few new dual-stick games equally deserving of your attention.

Bug Heroes

While twin-stick controls are at the center of Forsaken Media’s Bug Heroes ($1.99), it would be wrong to simply label it a typical dual-stick shooter. In truth, this action gem boasts a number of gaming elements: With an army of three bug heroes (Ant, Beetle and Spider), users must protect their stash of food for as long as possible. So this is an endless survival and tower-defense game, with an RPG aspect thrown in for good measure. This delicious hodgepodge is highlighted by great environments and almost sandbox-style gameplay, not to mention user characters with unique abilities. But back to the point, Bug Heroes is, at its core, a dual-stick shooter, and one of the best in quite some time.

Age of Zombies

In strong contrast to the aforementioned Bug Heroes, it would be hard to describe Age of Zombies ($2.99) as anything but a typical dual-stick shooter. Barry Steakfries, the star of the iPhone hit Monster Dash, returns in this Halfbrick Studios release that’s full of guns, zombies (as well as other monsters) and action. The levels are set up somewhat like mazes, and if you make a wrong turn, you’ll quickly be swallowed up by hoards of zombies popping up from various portals. The graphics are a little on the cartoonish side, but this app is very much aimed at adults — more specifically, those who can’t get enough of shooting up zombies. While this might be your typical twin-stick title, it’s also a very well-executed one, and a game that belongs on any action fan’s iPhone.

Related: Top iPhone games from Chillingo

Robokill

It’s hard to spend any time with Wandake’s Robokill (99 cents) and not wonder how it hasn’t received more accolades. This futuristic shooter is set on the Mars orbital station Titan Prime. The user character is equipped with a nifty yellow spacesuit that just happens to have plenty of weapon slots, and the storyline has you go through 13 missions in hopes of destroying various droids and machines, eventually leading to the liberation of Titan Prime. While the overhead camera doesn’t lead to tons of detail, this is still an app with wonderful visuals. The dual-stick controls are smooth and at the center of the gameplay, and fans of the genre will pick them up quickly. There’s little to complain about with this 99-cent beauty, other than a lack of attention.

Revolt

Revolt ($1.99) doesn’t have the quirky characters or cute storyline so often found in iPhone games, but, fortunately, it has plenty to offers gamers who are fond of two analog sticks. The app’s eight-level story mode has you control a character named Guy (seriously), a resistance fighter from a future in which a virus has nearly wiped out humanity, and machines are in control. Visually, the game is good, but not great. Where is excels is in versatile environments and solid controls. In addition to the dual-stick controls, you also swipe the screen to move the camera and deal with various action buttons. This might sound overwhelming, but it’s done well, and nothing a dedicated resistance fighter can’t handle. One caveat, the most recent update has caused a number of problems for many gamers, so you’ll probably want to check out the lite version first.

Call of Duty: Zombies

An egregious oversight on my part. The last time I extolled the virtues of two sticks, I somehow neglected to mention Call of Duty: Zombies ($4.99). This is an app version of the zombie-themed endless survival mode found in the console version of the game, and while dual-stick controls are only one of three options, there’s no excuse for not calling out one of the top-grossing games of all time. Though it’s roughly 14 months old, this first-person shooter has four maps, a Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-supported multiplayer mode and achievements to keep it fresh. In short, this app is a must-have for those who fancy themselves shooter fans, or even fans of action gaming in general.

Related: Best paid iPhone games of all time

Search for more

David Lister

David Lister is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is a former editor and writer at the NationalSportsReview.com and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. 

    Home Apps Games