Developer: Freshuu Inc.
Platform: iOS (v. 1.0.21)
Reviewed on iPad
"ZiGGURAT is the end of a much longer story – a story which ends with The Last Human On Earth standing atop a stratosphere-high stone pyramid, wielding a laser rifle against an endless wave of relentless alien freaks. Where did the alien freaks come from? How did our hero get to the top of this pyramid? We have no time to think about such things: there is only time to shoot."
ZiGGURAT is a shooter in the style of the oldest coin-op arcade cabinets. You stand at the top of a step-pyramid that rises above the clouds and shoot oncoming aliens in ever-increasing numbers. Seven types of enemies attack, each more powerful than the last and you shoot them... until they overwhelm you. Like those early coin-op games, it's an exercise in futility, where victory is surviving a few seconds longer and killing a few more aliens so you can watch their 8-bit–style explosions.
All you do in ZiGGURAT is shoot, so to enjoy this game you have to like the control scheme. I hated the control scheme. The default has you dragging your finger back and forth on the screen. The further you drag your finger from the center, the lower you aim. As you hold your finger down, the shot gets more powerful, and then power bleeds off and it gets less powerful. More powerful shots fly straight, while weaker shots fall in a parabola. It's a clever scheme, but I hated it. After around 100 enemies, my wrists hurt, and nearly every game was cut short when I forgot the counterintuitive control scheme in the heat of the action. There's a "slingshot" mode that is similar, but reverses the direction of the finger-pull.
Even if you enjoy the controls, it's a good thing that ZiGGURAT is only a buck (besides the inserted ads and social networking buttons). Like those old coin-op cabinets, it's only worth a few plays before it's tiresome and you've experienced everything the game has to offer.