iPhone App Video Review: Absolute Instant

Jun 27, 2011

Absolute Instant is a new shoot-em-up from Mobili Studios. It’s not just any kind of “Schmup” though. This game… is a “bullet hell.” Easily the most fitting name for any genre of game, these are completely maddening, in a good way though. Absolute Instant is an innovative and polished addition to the bullet hell family.

The controls were built from the ground up for the iPhone. You control your fighter by dragging them around with your finger, while they continuously fire non-stop.  This offers some great movement precision, which is super important for this kind of game, but it can also be a hindrance. In most “bullet hell” games, the hit-box of your fighter is smaller than the actual sprite, allowing you to squeeze through openings you would think are harmful. When your finger is covering most of the ship though, it can be difficult to accurately squeeze through those small openings. You shake the device to throw out a bomb, which creates a gravity-well that sucks in every enemy’s bullet, as well as smaller enemies themselves. You can have up to three before needing an enemy to drop more. Now, I’m not an expert, but I’ve played quite a few bullet hell games in my day, and I think this next mechanic might be a brand new addition to the genre. If you tap anywhere on the screen, your fighter will teleport there. You can port up to three times before needing to recharge. Because of this, there are some attacks which are completely unavoidable, with the only option being to teleport out. This dynamic definitely makes this game stand out from its brothers and sisters, and it’s a lot of fun.

The premise of the game is basically a weird cyberpunk retelling of the story of Adam and Eve. It doesn’t totally make sense, but it’s loaded with random symbolism and references. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure this is common of every bullet hell. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a true bullet hell game with a story that made sense, ever, in my entire life, and they usually deal with mythology of some kind too. These stories are absolutely crazy, and I actually mean that as the highest of compliments. Anyway, the art style in the game is crisp and colorful, whether it’s the few cut-scenes, enemies, or environments. The levels seem to pop out more and more as they progress.

In the game, you have two character options; Liz and Judas. Judas has a much wider spread to his shots, and is actually easier to use than Liz. Liz has huge laser beams that fire directly in front of her, and a couple automatic homing missiles to help compensate for that. She definitely seems to take down bigger enemies and even bosses quicker due to her focus fire. The bosses in the game are its most fun aspect. Their attacks are interesting and varied, and way more intense than a screen full of smaller baddies. You can only upgrade your guns two or three times before they’re maxed out, which happens in the first level. This seems like a waste, because they keep dropping weapon power ups for the entire game, when you really need health or bombs. Even if you use a continue, you will have the same level of weapon as before. The game is also pretty short at only 5 levels, though with all three difficulties and the inclusion of Game Center leaderboards and achievements, it offers a lot of replayability. Some of the harder achievements require you to play the game enough to memorize the entire thing, so have fun with that.

This is definitely a great bullet hell game which adds a lot to the genre. It’s a fun and polished experience, and it only costs two dollars. Though, it is currently on sale for only one dollar until the end of July, and that is definitely a deal you can’t pass up. Check this one out.

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Andrew Koziara

Andrew Koziara is a lifelong gamer and metal head. When he isn’t playing or reviewing games, he’s making them at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. Check out his Twitter page here.

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