Review Astrowings Blitz
A very freemium shoot’em-up
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 06 May 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Good graphics, unique perspective
Poor controls, the game is balanced around microtransactions, uninteresting gameplay
Let’s face it, freemium games are the reason mobile games get such a bad rap in more traditional gaming circles. Unfortunately, AstroWings 2 for Android takes every good part of the game and makes it incredibly efficient to try and farm users for as much cash as they can stand to pay, which was none in my case.
So first off, this is a shoot’em-up with a very odd semi-isometric perspective, odd controls, and lots of grind. I mean grinding for hours and hours before you’ll have enough money to make your first upgrade. When the controls are first explained it seems like you simply tap from side to side in order to guide your ship, but you have to actually slide your fingers to do that and it just doesn’t feel good. My ship never seemed to go as far to one corner as I wanted.
Enemy patterns were boring and really force players to put themselves in danger to attack enemies. A lot of the time it just felt like a better idea to simply avoid enemies because they don’t shoot back. Unfortunately you’ll need to put yourself in harm’s way in order to get any kind of compensation.
Which leads me to the upgrade path. The first upgrade cost 20,000 coins and at one to two coins per enemy, you’ll have to do a lot of killing just to get there. This just makes me want to stop playing the game. It certainly doesn’t incentivize me to pay up so I can go through some mediocre game.
There are also pilots you can purchase through currency that you need to pay real money for. Another attempt at trying to dig into the player’s pocket.
It’s honestly insulting to see a game like AstroWings2: Legend of Heroes even on the market because every aspect of the game seems balanced around in-app purchases. If the developers would have put more focus into balancing the game to be fun then it wouldn’t actually be too bad.